Fringe Box



Guildford ‘Hollywood of Video Games’ 2020 Festival Goes International

Published on: 29 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 1 Oct, 2020

Guildford is a renowned centre for the computer gaming industry.

Guildford Games Festival celebrates its second year by going global on Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14, marking the industry’s continued success that has transformed the borough into “the Hollywood of video games”.

Some of the industry’s biggest and most innovative developers are also based in Guildford, including Criterion, Hello Games, Media Molecule and Supermassive.

The online Festival is supported by UK games trade body UKIE and age-ratings advisory body AskAboutGames and sponsored by the borough council and Enterprise M3 LEP.

The organisers will use video game distribution network Steam, furthering Guildford’s reputation to a wider international audience

The 2020 line-up features an industry expert helpline and careers guidance, plus video reports on the prestige and success as the digital games sector continues to thrive in the borough, despite the huge economic challenges posed by the pandemic.

Guildford Games Festival 2019

DPS Games (formerly known as Wargaming UK) and EA Games (best known for FIFA, The Sims and Madden NFL) have expanded. . DPS has tripled the size of its Guildford Business Park HQ to 35,000 sq ft of office space, and recruiting 22 new UK staff. EA Games also expanded its HQ at Onslow House.

Full details of the Festival will be announced via the Guildford.Games website in mid-October.

Cllr Joss Bigmore

Acting council leader Joss Bigmore said: “We are proud to be key supporters of Guildford Games Festival for a second year and to help the industry thrive in our borough. We continue to give our full backing to this dynamic sector full of creative and talented people, which remains a growth area at a time when so many other industries are struggling.

“The video games industry is worth almost $90 billion globally, expected to surpass £7 billion in the UK alone next year and we are proud of the major role Guildford plays in that worldwide success,” Cllr Bigmore (R4GV, Holy Trinity) added.

“Our key corporate priorities are Innovation, place-making and community, and the Guildford Games Festival ticks all the 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 which have been released here. We have 70 video game companies here, employing more than 1,800 people.”

Keith Anderson, publishing director of DPS Games said: “We are always looking for brilliant individuals to join our team. Guildford is a hotbed for industry talent, with many studios and publishers already here. There is also a deep history of game-making in the Guildford area. When we looked at acquiring a studio with online experience it was a stroke of fortune that we found Edge Case Games, who were already Guildford based.

“Since the founding of DPS Games, we have had three different spaces in Guildford, each with its own charm. We had a run of bad luck but that gave us the opportunity to find the perfect space in Guildford Business Park, where we are now.

“Our studio is bespoke, kitted out to our specifications including a deli and balcony BBQ area. As we continue to expand and grow so does our space. We now employ more than 100 and we’re refitting the office to make room for even more people over the coming year.”

Sam Read, games sector specialist at Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “We’re delighted to support the delivery of this year’s Guildford Games 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 collaboration with Guildford Borough Council to deliver Guildford Games Festival in 2020 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, serving as encouragement for people considering this sector as a future career opportunity.”

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