Scotland's video games industry, one of the most dynamic, diverse and pioneering in the world, was today transformed, with the launch of the Scottish Games Network, as the official industry body for the entire sector in Scotland.
The Scottish Games Network now offers a single unified and strategic contact point for Scotland's diverse games sector, as well as opening the sector up to the wider cultural and creative industries, both nationally and globally.
The Scottish Games Network is open to every company and organisation involved in the video games and interactive industries. Not simply developers, but technology companies, animation specialists, audio companies, publishers, retailers, media, freelance staff, contractors, academic institutions and the government.
The organisation pro-actively identifies new projects and opportunities to enable the games sector to grow, evolve and prosper, moving beyond advocacy and representation to pull together the individuals, companies and organisations across the country, providing strategic insight, research, create new opportunities and organise incredibly cool events...
The Scottish Games Network was established in 2005 as a grass roots sector-specific community. It has grown and evolved rapidly to become the recognised organisation and focal point for the country's video games industry, with over 90 game development studios, more than 130 games-related companies and around 5,000 individual members across multiple channels.
Scotland has a unique infrastructure, differing from the rest of the UK. There are over 35 commercial, cultural, educational and academic organisations across the public and private sectors in this country, which are actively involved in the games and interactive sector.
The Scottish Games Network is keen to work with all of these organisations and companies, building greater collaboration, communication, understanding and opportunities for Scotland as a whole. The SGN will also work closely with the existing video games industry bodies, creating links, affiliations and memberships, sharing information and ensuring collaboration wherever possible.
Scotland's games industry has been a pioneer since the late 1980s, when it boasted six studios producing titles including Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown, HEDZ, Formula 1, Braveheart, Midnight Pool, Harry Potter Quidditch and many more.
Since then the industry has grown to nearly 100 independent studios, producing titles for every platform and device from smartphones and tablets to the next generation of games consoles. This includes, Rockstar North, the creator of GTA V, the largest entertainment product in the world, which generated over $1Bn in sales in its first three days on sale in September 2013. In 2012 the was at least one game released every week by development studios in Scotland – and that number is growing.
Founded by Brian Baglow, the network is now an officially incorporated organisation, with Brian as Director. Brian has worked in the games industry in Scotland since 1994, has been a constant advocate and media presence in the sector, and has worked with almost each and every company, organisation, educational institution and industry-relevant event in the country.
Baglow says, “The original Scottishgames.net was founded as a community to enable the growing games industry in Scotland to ask questions, discuss the industry and meet peers and colleagues. It has grown since then to become the focal point for the industry as a whole.”
We are now in the position where there are multiple organisations interacting with the games sector, from government, parliament and the public sector, to the wider digital, screen and creative industries. To enable and support this, the Scottish Games Network has become an official and committed full-time company.”
Our goal is, very simply, to help the country's games industry grow and prosper. We will be working with government, the public sector and other trade bodies to provide data, expertise and insight into the games industry, as well as helping the industry open itself up to the wider creative world, fostering new partnerships, collaboration, diversity, funding; and encouraging entirely new experiences.”