The Scottish Government has given its backing to the creation of a national games strategy.
The goal of the strategy, according to the Scottish Games Network, is to “create a more successful games ecosystem in Scotland and ensure the country can support the sector more effectively as it continues to grow and evolve”.
The video game market contributes over £188.5 million to the Scottish economy annually, which the Scottish Games Network says makes games “as large as areas such as fintech, data, cybersecurity and space”.
The Network will create an action plan which “will provide tangible, actionable recommendations to increase knowledge of and support for games”.
The move will make Scotland the first part of the UK to have a strategy in place to support the growing games ecosystem.
In a statement on the agreement, Scotland’s deputy first minister Shona Robison said: “Scotland has a rich heritage in producing pioneering games and the industry is filled with talent, innovation and creativity. I saw this first-hand when I joined representatives of the sector for a roundtable discussion last November.
“The Scottish Government recognises the contribution that the sector already makes and the potential it has to contribute further social, cultural and economic benefits.
“That is why I have backed the industry to create a National Action Plan for Games in Scotland that boosts and accelerates growth and job creation, as well as amplifying the global reputation of one of Scotland’s most promising and diverse sectors.”
While many immediately associate Scotland with Rockstar Games, the country has numerous other success stories across all budget sizes.
Horror game The Baby in Yellow, by Scottish studio Team Terrible, has racked up over 200 million downloads to date.
Dundee-based 4J Studios – best known for its console ports of Minecraft – recently entered the world of publishing, handling its own games (such as Manic Mechanics) and those of other Scottish developers (such as Puny Astronaut’s Skye Tales).
Everywhere promises to combine game creation tools with a large multiplayer world, while also acting as a platform for other new content such as full AAA-level experiences (the first of which, MindsEye, bears a strong resemblance to GTA).
Of the Scottish Government’s backing of a national games strategy, Scottish Games Network director Brian Baglow said: “The games sector is Scotland’s secret weapon. We have far more to offer Scotland’s economy and future as a digital society than anyone realises.
“However, we do not yet have the same recognition as other areas such as data, fintech, or film.
“The creation of a national strategy will enable us to increase the understanding of the enormous potential of games, increase the support for the ecosystem as a whole and position Scotland as a pioneer in this incredible industry.”
Header image by Christoph Strässler