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Guildford’s Famed Games Festival Goes Global This Weekend

Published on: 12 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 13 Nov, 2020

Guildford Games Festival returns this weekend, Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14, as the “Hollywood of Video Games” takes its line-up of world-class developers and titles to a global audience.

The festival can be enjoyed on video game distribution network Steam and the world’s largest live video game streaming platform, Twitch.

The creativity and talent across the Guildford games industry is celebrated, and the rich history and promising future of video games here is displayed as the sector continues to thrive despite the huge economic challenges posed by the pandemic.

Images from the Guildford Games Festival 2019.

Sponsored by the borough council and Enterprise M3 LEP, the festival is supported by the UK’s games industry trade body Ukie and age ratings advisory body AskAboutGames.

Council leader Joss Bigmore said: “We are proud to be key supporters of Guildford Games Festival for a second year and excited to join everybody online to enjoy a fantastic two days.

“We are committed to helping the industry thrive in our borough, known as the Hollywood of video games in the UK, and continue to give our full backing to this dynamic sector full of creative and talented people.

“The video games industry is worth almost $90 billion globally, and is expected to surpass £7 billion in the UK alone next year. We are proud of the major role Guildford plays in that worldwide success.

“Our key corporate priorities are innovation, place-making and community and the Guildford Games Festival ticks all these boxes, putting our beautiful green and historic borough and county town on the modern cutting-edge map.

“Since 1987, Guildford’s games industry has created many world-first innovations and legendary titles among the 4,000 games released here.”

Sam Read, games sector specialist at Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “Enterprise M3 LEP is delighted to support this year’s festival. I hope the virtual event will be able to reach and engage with an enormous audience.

“It will also be a great opportunity for the LEP to promote the local industry as a high-growth sector critical to the area’s general economic recovery and renewal.

“The LEP is working closely with the Department for International Trade to raise awareness of Guildford’s games industry internationally. The area was recently awarded ‘High Potential Opportunity’ status in recognition of these strengths and our collaboration with the council on the festival significantly benefits this work.

“Jobs site Adzuna recently listed Guildford as one of the top two places in the country for jobs in digital and tech, where its job openings now outnumber jobseekers. This further proves the value our digital economy is bringing to the region, very encouraging for people considering this sector as a future career opportunity.”

The Festival is also sponsored by Electronic Arts, Criterion, Supermassive Games, Charles Russell Speechlys and Liquid Crimson. Additional Festival Partners are Fortitude Games, Glowmade and Stellar Entertainment.

Friday is Industry Day, featuring Steve Goss, director of design and technology at Supermassive Games, BAFTA award-winning audio director Adele Cutting, and the man known as “Guildford’s gaming godfather”, Peter Molyneux OBE.

From 11am, the day provides help and advice for the next generation of games industry professionals, including topics such as game design, production and marketing, building your own studio and a panel discussion on Women in Games. There are also features on famous gamers.

Saturday is Careers Day, with four game-making skills workshops from Digital Schoolhouse, Ukie’s not-for-profit programme which enables primary school children to experience free creative computing workshops and careers advice.

To get the most out of these workshops, parents and teachers will be able to download extra details and worksheets at https://guildford.games/GGFSaturdayDSH from Thursday 12 November.

The day also features 12 “One Minute Mentor” videos from industry professionals working for companies including Xbox, SEGA, Rare and Playground Games.

An advertisement for a game with a PEGI 18 rating will be shown several times during the festival. The video game equivalent of an 18-certificate film, as rated by the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) age rating system, the advert will be preceded by a PEGI 18 advisory notice.

For further details, including a full itinerary, please visit https://guildford.games/festival.

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