Why supporters backed the BGI campaign

The BGI campaign in 2017-2018 won the following supportive statements from senior figures in the arts, games, finance, education and politics.

Quotes from senior supporters

Some of the most creative and competitive games studios in the world are based in the UK, yet almost all UK games companies struggle to raise finance. The BGI’s finance programme will help address this market failure. As one of a small number of games angels investing in UK games studios, I’m convinced that the BGI can increase the level of investment and widen the investment circle to new investors. We’re calling on the games sector and investors to support the BGI’s bid for new government funding for games production, culture and skills. It’s high time games had its own national agency.  Ian Livingstone CBE

Games developed in the UK lead the world; merging British creative flair in art, animation, music and storytelling with technological prowess in programming. Having a national institution with cultural programmes dedicated to developing this contemporary art form should be supported by the government as an investment in our cultural future. Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO Creative England

The UK has a formidable reputation for delivering original, outstanding and unique games titles. In 2009 I suggested to the government that they recognise the tremendous potential harnessed within the games industry to contribute socially, educationally and economically to contemporary culture. Just as the BFI has for long championed film culture, it’s time for games to have a national agency to promote its own specific cultural contribution. That’s why I’m joining the call to government to help underwrite a British Games Institute. Lord David Puttnam CBE

The UK games industry ticks all the Industrial Strategy’s boxes: it’s high growth, high tech, truly nationwide and is already world-class with highly transferable skills. Yet the games industry faces significant challenges in access to finance, cultural recognition and skills shortages. After reviewing the BGI proposals, I believe the best way to address these challenges is a new national agency. Funding the BGI would be a statement of strategic intent by the government to back this key creative sector and I’m delighted to support it. Ed Vaizey MP, former Minister of State, Digital and Culture, DCMS

 TIGA stands for games developers and digital publishers and our objective is to strengthen the games industry. We should introduce a British Games Institute to drive the sector forward. We would welcome the BGI implementing TIGA’s long standing proposal for a Games Investment Fund, increasing productivity in the industry by working with leading universities – particularly TIGA Accredited universities – to promote best practice, and promoting British games culture with festivals around the UK. Dr Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA

I’m very excited about the idea of the BGI. An august, sophisticated and grand institution, that does practical things, is long overdue for the rapidly growing and highly successful computer games industry.  Other areas of the creative industries have this kind of valued structure. I am looking forward to working closely with the BGI, both as chair of TIGA, and as CEO of Rebellion, and helping to build on the success story that is the British Games Industry. Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO, Rebellion, and Chairman, TIGA

I fully support the proposal for the BGI. A new national agency with a remit to support the video games industry will help provide funding and skilled talent for UK games studios, and will also champion the culture and economic contribution of British games to the public. Carl Cavers, CEO, Sumo-Digital

The UK has a rich, 40 year history in games but, unlike other creative industries, we have had little public funding to support our games culture.  A specialist national games agency would bring focus and turbo charge the UK’s vibrant video games sector both commercially and culturally to reach even greater heights. The British Games Institute is that organisation. Andy Payne OBE, CEO, AppyNation and Chairman of the British Esports Association

Games are one of the most important bridges between technology and the arts. Although the UK games sector is at the cutting edge of a rapidly growing global industry, it faces significant challenges in access to finance and skills, and low awareness of just how deeply games are embedded in our culture. The British Games Institute represents a unique opportunity for government to address these challenges with support from a very wide range of arts, education, finance and games organisations. I’m proud to lend my support. Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, VP Facebook EMEA, Co-chair of Creative Industries Council

 I think the BGI is an important and long overdue initiative. It’s time the UK had a national games agency that champions the talent behind British-made games and recognises the contribution games make to our culture and economy. The provision of skills, training, and funding for games production will not only incentivise investors, it will ensure British studios become more sustainable, competitive and successful. Chris Lee, games angel

Having spent over a decade at the coalface of videogames and culture and witnessed the extraordinary growth of games as part of people’s cultural lives, it’s breath-taking that an effective centre of gravity for the support of this activity hasn’t emerged before now. The central, vital pledge of the BGI to develop and deliver a strategy to nurture and support the rich set of existing, brilliant, diverse activities all around the UK, fills a conspicuous vacuum in the current support landscape.  The NVF looks forward to working with the BGI, continuing to play its role in developing videogame culture internationally. Iain Simons, CEO, The National Videogame Foundation 

 We really need this kind of progressive, long-term thinking for the UK games industry. We’ve seen British capital flowing into Finnish games companies due to the success of the government-backed Tekes scheme. With the UK already a world-leader in games, the BGI’s plan for soft loans to games companies with mentoring and matched funding will help drive significant amounts of new inward investment. There should be no hesitation to fund this. Shum Singh, Agnitio Capital

At FutureLearn, we’re passionate about helping everyone to fulfil their potential by transforming access to education. With the UK games industry, we can see so much potential but at the same time, studios struggle to stay up-to-date with the latest skills. That’s why we’re supporting this initiative from the British Games Institute – the skills programme being proposed by the BGI is essential for the UK to compete, and lead, in the international games market and we want to help make that happen. Simon Nelson, CEO, FutureLearn

The global games business is huge, and British games talent is world class. If the BGI can help ready that talent, investors like LVP will rush to support entrepreneurial growth with our funds, expertise and networks. David Lau-Kee, London Venture Partners

The BGI represents a fantastic opportunity for the games industry to speak with a single, powerful and full industry-supported voice. This clarity and focus will open new opportunities to the benefit of the UK Games industry as a whole. Philip & Andrew Oliver, representing the Made in Creative UK Campaign.

This is an idea whose time has come. These are exciting and challenging days for the UK games industry and having the BGI to co-ordinate, support and augment the good work being done by so many different organisations will be of enormous value. Paul Gardner, Wiggin LLP

 I believe this is an invaluable approach to ensure that we support and expand the economically and creatively vital video games industry in the UK. As one of the leading fund investors into the games sector in the UK, Mercia Technologies plc would welcome the introduction of a body that supports and develops new start-ups and small companies making them fit-for-purpose for further growth investment. Mike Hayes, Investment Director, Mercia Technologies

New production funding from the BGI will help British games studios create and retain their IP, ultimately benefiting the UK economy.  I’m delighted to join other investors to call on government to fund this important landmark initiative. I look forward to working with the BGI team to help grow the scope and quality of games investment opportunities in the UK. Ian Hetherington, games angel

Helping young talent take part in the thriving games industry will promote modern culture and benefit the economy. BGI should be a priority for the UK government. Frank Sagnier, CEO, Codemasters

The UK’s sustained global presence in cultural forms as wide as film, TV, theatre and art reflects in no small part the support of publicly-backed industry institutions. The evidence shows that video games now play an essential role in the UK’s cultural as well as economic wellbeing. It’s high time we matched this reality with a lottery-backed British Games Institute. Hasan Bakhshi, Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta

We’re happy to be advising the BGI team embed diversity and inclusion into this exciting new agency’s programmes. We believe that ambitious national initiatives which garner broad support right across the games sector can, through strategic interventions, accelerate the pace of change to build a competitive and diverse industry, and we call on the government to back it. Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO, Women in Games

 At QUAD we believe in the power of art, film and digital media to change peoples lives for the better. Increasingly we work with artists and film makers interested in using gaming technology and techniques in their practice. The establishment and development of the BGI is something we wholeheartedly support. We see the growth of the BGI, bringing together cultural, industrial, educational and artistic development in a coherent and symbiotic way as being a key future development across all artforms. We look forward to seeing the BGI’s continued development and would fully support a formalised relationship between other existing bodies. Adam Buss, CEO, QUAD

 The British Games Institute is an important and timely initiative to recognise excellence, support innovation and promote the UK games industry at a global level. Further, the British Games Institute can act as a crucial link between industry, research and education; keeping the UK at the heart of cutting edge game development. Dr Mark Eyles, Animation, Games and Enterprise Section Lead, University of Portsmouth

 The BGI’s skills programme sounds like it will have real impact both for games universities like ours but also for the games sector. We welcome this kind of creative collaboration between industry and universities and look forward to being a part of the initiative. Chris Owen, Head of Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University.

 NextGen would welcome a partnership with an organisation that will deliver the shared goals of supporting new talent, increasing the diversity of our workforce and upskilling those already in the industry. These are key if we are to retain our global position. Marcia Deakin, NextGen Skills Academy

 I fully support the formation of the British Games Institute. Games have become an essential part of both our economy and culture and the UK needs to do all it can to support a thriving sector it should be proud of. The BGI offers the potential beyond other agencies to form an organisation across industry, academia, and other groups to provide high impact collaboration. It will also address significant fundamental challenges in education and maintaining our skill sets, as well as fostering new talent in this important sector. Charlie Hargood, Senior Lecturer in Games Technology, Bournemouth University

As the National Center of Excellence for Computer Games Education, Abertay University supports the creation of a nationwide organisation to deliver training and continuing development for games professionals as part of a broad spectrum of support for the whole sector. Professor Gregor White, Head of School of Design & Informatics, Abertay University

 The UK games industry changes rapidly to stay at the forefront of technology, so sharing best practice amongst developers is a key goal in optimising that process. Universities running high quality computer science for games courses are ideally positioned to work with industry and gather the latest intel, with the BGI acting as a hub for disseminating that critical information widely. Mark Featherstone, Course Leader, Computer Science for Games, Sheffield Hallam University

Having worked closely with the games and animation industries on a number of projects it has become very apparent to me that there needs to be a stronger voice and purpose when it comes to representation of the Games industry within the UK. For this reason I think that the proposal for a British Games Institute is very welcome and, from my perspective, will facilitate the collaboration between games and related industries in areas such as skills development and the promotion of digital content companies to the public. Amy Smith, Head of Talent, Framestore