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Videogames – ‘Made in Guildford’, Showcasing a Local Industry Worth Billions

Published on: 23 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 25 Jun, 2022

Guildford Museum is bringing the town’s contemporary history up to date with its latest exhibition Videogames – Made in Guildford.

It is to run from July 2 to September 24 and will give a snapshot into the thriving videogame sector in Guildford and the local area and show why Guildford is known as the “Hollywood of Games”.

Those visiting the exhibition will be able to:

  • learn about the first videogame studio in Guildford, Bullfrog Productions, founded in 1987;
  • discover more about the 70+ local games studios in Guildford;
  • find out how many games have been released by Guildford studios;
  • play Guildford-made videogames at our console station; and
  • find out how you can get into the sector from our local videogame experts.

John Redpath, lead councillor for Economy and Heritage said: “This story has been waiting for us to tell it. We are offering an insight into Guildford’s value in the international games community. We will showcase Guildford’s role in the success of one of the nation’s most valuable industries.

“This display is part of our commitment to support the games industry. More than 70 videogame companies are based here and hire over 1,800 people. This is an incredible achievement for our borough. Globally the videogames industry is worth over £150 billion. Within this, the UK videogames market has reached a record £7 billion.”

Lauran Carter, Head of Communications at Liquid Crimson said: “Many people don’t realise that Guildford has been at the cutting edge of games development since the 1980s. The reach of Guildford’s games is worldwide – from classics like Dungeon Keeper and Theme Hospital to Little Big Planet, Battlefield and No Man’s Sky. Even if you’re not an avid gamer, you will likely know of more than one title that has been made in the town.

“My colleagues at Liquid Crimson and I are proud to not only work alongside the Guildford Game Dev community, which we’ve been involved in for decades but also to co-run the Guildford.Games Festival every year – which serves to shine a light on the incredible talent in the town and shout about Guildford games far and wide.

“It’s so important we celebrate Guildford games, whether via the Guildford.Games Festival or exhibitions such as this, to continue supporting local studios and developers.”

The display is a part of a larger project to collect and grow our museum’s collection. The goal is to collect every videogame made within the GU postcode. The games on display are only the start of our collection.

Cllr John Redpath

Cllr Redpath added: “I am proud we are celebrating the games industry and how it thrives here. We are collecting objects that reflect our rich games history and future. We are hoping to inspire our visitors and the games industry to donate video games. If you would like to join us in building our videogame collection, please find out which games we still need to collect by visiting the exhibition, or contacting HeritageServices@guildford.gov.uk

“Our display gives a small but well-formed introduction to the story of the games industry. You will have the chance to play games made in Guildford on our consoles.

“You can also join two free activity days presented by nDreams. These new and interactive experiences will inspire career paths and spark discoveries.” The activity days will be held at at Guildford Museum on July 16 and August 20.

Activity Day Programme:

12-2pm: Try out virtual reality headsets with one of the UK’s largest VR developers. Play a range of games from fast paced games to more relaxing experiences. Immerse yourself in the technology. (PEGI7 suitable for 7+; parental/adult supervision required).

2:30-3:30pm: Get your foot in the door! This session is for young people aged 12-18 and you will need to book in advance. Learn more about the games industry through a workshop. Find out the range of jobs available and routes into the industry.

3.30-4pm: There will be another chance to try our virtual reality headsets. For our younger gamers, there will be a trail inspired by gaming quests. Follow the trail from challenge to challenge on a path to the final goal.

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