Download presentations from BFI Video Games Day below:
At the end of November leading figures from the UK’s thriving video games sector gathered for a special Video Games Day hosted by the BFI Certification Unit. Over the course of the day more than 130 delegates representing games companies from across the UK learned more about the benefits of the new games tax relief and how video games companies can access it. BFI CEO Amanda Nevill opened up the day of panel sessions and presentations from a range of experts and funders covering not only tax relief but also finance, diversity, culture and representation, and the education and skills development support available to the sector. There was also an opportunity for guests to play some exciting new games from video games developers from around the UK.
A big thank you to everyone who attended the day and contributed to such a valuable event. Below are the highlights from the day and all the important presentation slides and documents for you to read through, any questions on the cultural test and tax relief please do get in touch with us at the Certification Unit.
The day was opened by BFI CEO Amanda Nevill, welcoming video games to the BFI Southbank.
Our opening keynote was given by Games Workshop Co-founder, Government’s Creative Industries Champion and Co-Author of the Next Gen review Ian Livingstone CBE. He gave a State of the Nation address for the video games sector in the UK.
The first panel of the day was Video Games Tax Relief – Meet the Experts!
Anna Mansi and Moses Nyachae gave an overview of the video games presentations before opening up to a panel discussion with HMRC advisors on the details. In addition, Donna Orlowski from Chucklefish Games gave her first hand experience of applying for the games tax reliefs.
After questions from the audience, Juan Mateos-Garcia took the stage to give a presentation on the findings of NESTA’s Mapping the UK project.
The final morning session focused on ‘The Money: Access to finance around the UK’. In Part 1 Nigel Burke, (Partner at Saffery Champness) presented a comprehensive guide to EIS and SEIS schemes followed by a presentation from Francesca Walker on the schemes available from Creative Europe.
In Part 2 Giselle Stewart (General Manager of Ubisoft Reflections and TIGA Board Member) chaired presentations and discussion on finance and support around the UK. Members of the panel were Donal Philips (Northern Ireland Screen), Jaspal Sohal (Creative England), Charles Cecil MBE (Revolution Software) and David Banner (Wales Interactive). The panellists discussed the options available in specific regions and Giselle highlighted the Access to Finance document published by TIGA earlier this year. Just before the break, the BFI’s Rhidian Davis introduced the audience to the BFI’s latest blockbuster season ‘Sci-Fi’ and highlighted the wealth of opportunities to engage across the creative industries. He highlighted the strong cross-over between Sci-Fi and video games and offered all attendees a free ticket to one of the BFI’s Sci-Fi season screenings ‘til the end of the year.
During the lunch break attendees in the BFI Southbank Blue Room got the opportunity to network and check out some fantastic games hosted by their developers.
C++ Technical Demos using the Octet Framework – Goldsmiths MSc Computer Games and Entertainment
LA Cops – Modern Dream
Soul Axiom – Wales Interactive
Evil Dead: Infinite Nightmare – Dream Country
Total War: ATTILA and Alien: Isolation – Creative Assembly
Pixel Rift – Ana Ribeiro/National Film and Television School
After the break, Ian Livingstone returned to chair a panel on the Next Generation: Skills and Education. He was joined by Gina Jackson (NEXT Gen Academy), Jo Twist (Ukie), Jon Weinbren (NFTS) and Kate O’Connor (Creative Skillset).
In the final panel of the day, Jo Twist chaired a debate on diversity, culture and representation in the video games industry on and off screen. “Games should be the battleground for diversity” (said by Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris) was the takeaway message.
Charles Cecil MBE, Founder of Revolution Software gave the day’s closing keynote, followed by closing remarks from the Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey.
Video Games Day closed with a final opportunity to network with drinks and more games demonstrations from another group of developers.
Starbound – Chucklefish Games
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – TT Games
Devouring Stars – François Alliot
Virginia – Variable State
Redshirt – The Tiniest Shark
We would like to thank everyone who attended and supported our inaugural Video Games Day and all our speakers and exhibitors for helping make BFI Video Games Day such a success!