The BGI is a new national games agency delivering a range of programmes for the games sector.

It began as an industry-led campaign that was announced in January 2016 to win new funding for cultural games production, games as culture projects and games production and commercialisation skills.

The BGI campaign was led by Rick Gibson and Ian Livingstone, was formally supported by both UK games industry trade bodies, TIGA and Ukie, and won the support from over 560 games, arts, investment and educational organisations. A number of senior games, arts, investment and educational leaders have supported the call for the BGI.

The BGI was formally proposed to the Treasury in September 2017. As a direct result of the campaign, the Bazalgette review into the Creative Sectors recommended that Government should consider how the government funds games culture.

Since January 2018, the BGI team has been winning new funding for its programmes. In March 2018, the BGI announced it had begun merger discussions with the National Videogame Foundation, a team of games culture experts backed by the sector that has been organising games festivals such as GameCity, runs the National Videogame Arcade (the UK’s only permanent playable museum), training Arts organisations on how to work with games, running after-school classes for children and publishing a series of world-class games culture research papers in concert with some of the world’s leading universities and institutions.

In October 2018, the BGI announced that the National Videogame Arcade was being rebranded as the National Videogame Museum and moved to a new location in Sheffield, with assistance from Sheffield City Council who administered a grant from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.