Unbeknownst to many, the Southern English town of Guildford has long been known as the ‘Hollywood of Video Games’, with more than 3,000 highly skilled programmers and 60 games studios calling the town their home*. These studios are far from unknown, either – collectively they develop some of the most well-known video games in the world and have been doing so since the 1980s.
From EA’s Need for Speed to Media Molecule’s Dreams and hundreds of games in-between, Guildford is a video-game-development hub that deserves to be celebrated. Within Guildford, the gaming sector is worth an estimated £90 million.
Started by a group of individuals, passionate about the Guildford Games Developer Community, the not for profit Guildford.Games initiative has always aimed to showcase the local industry, form long lasting connections between studios and bring the concentrated, creative talent within Guildford to the attention of the world. The sector, underpinned by an established and highly esteemed local network of industry and academia, has achieved over £1 billion of international foreign direct investment to date and continues to develop and innovate at pace.*
Lauran Carter, Head of Comms, Liquid Crimson, comments: “Guildford is an incredibly important place for video game development, and we are privileged to work alongside its talented development teams. Those of us involved in G.G are driven by our pride for Guildford game developers – past and present – and we hope to continue to work with local studios, putting them in the spotlight, for many years to come.
Many of the G.G committee forged our career direction within Guildford studios. With G.G initiatives, I hope we can inspire blossoming game developers to start their career in one of the many Guildford games studios, as I did.”
Since 2019, the committee – comprised of individuals from Liquid Crimson, international law firm, Charles Russell Speechlys, UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment) and others – has dedicated their spare time to organising and holding various events for both local developers and the wider gaming community. The coming six months will see Guildford.Games host another G.G Steam Sale, a digital festival and an in-person event.
Rebecca Burford, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys and G.G non-exec director, comments: “Guildford’s reputation and legacy within the gaming sector is unrivalled, and the industry continues to develop at pace. Having been a major advocate for the Guildford Games Hub for several years with many clients in the sector, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys were delighted to have a pivotal role in advising the Guildford.Games committee on the formation of Guildford.Games Ltd. We look forward to witnessing and being a part of further growth and innovation in the sector.”
Thanks to generous sponsorship from local businesses such as Supermassive Games, EA/Criterion, nDreams, Media Molecule and Guildford Borough Council, the Guildford.Games committee have hosted developer drinks, both in person & digital G.G Festivals and the G.G Awards as well as collaborating with Valve & local game studios to create a Guildford.Games specific Steam sale – bringing increased revenue via substantial attention (including over 2million viewers at the online G.G Festival) for the studios involved.
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