Scottish Parliament Committee Explores Impact Of Games Industry

Last week, the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and tourism committee held the first part of it’s investigation into the economic impact of the creative industries – including games.

The committee is gathering evidence, both written and from industry witnesses, exploring if and how government intervention might help the creative industries grow, thrive and achieve more.

This is one of the first times that the Scottish parliament has had any official connection with the games sector. The last research into the creative industries was 2012’s disastrous economic impact survey, which valued the games sector at zero and claimed there were less than 200 people working in games in Scotland.

The committee met last week and heard evidence from four witnesses: Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of 4J Studios, Paul Durrent, the commercialisation director at Abertay University, Colin MacDonald, the games commissioning editor at Channel 4 and Brian Baglow, in my role as director of the Scottish Games Network.

The committee members focused on a number of common issues which were present in a number of written submissions from the sector. These included:

  • The need for a national vision for Scotland’s digital future – and possibly a national network to help drive this ambition.
  • Funding and support for new start-up companies
  • The need to create sustainable companies in the games sector
  • Existing support in the public sector
  • Routes into the industry for young people
  • Skills, skills gaps and training requirements within the games sector
  • Innovation and convergence with other areas of the creative industries

The full transcript of the meeting is now available online, as is a video of the entire committee. You can also read all of the evidence submitted to the committee.

This week the committee is hearing evidence from the film sector. Next week it’s the turn of television and finally the public sector organisations in Scotland.

The results will be published in early March, with a government response expected within two months after that.

What are your thoughts on the committee and the points raised? Was what was discussed correct? Was anything missing? Let us know in the comments any issues or topics you feel need clarification or that should be added to the debate.

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