London Games Industry Receives £1.2 Billion Investment


The Mayor himself made a trip to Minecraft to announce the exciting news.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced a new policy program to boost the games industry in the London area, with a £1.2 billion investment and a whole host of new initiatives to match. The entire program is funded by the London Enterprise Panel, which is chaired by Johnson.

Games London was revealed via a video in which Mr. Johnson appears as a Minecraft character walking around a recreation of England’s capital city. The Mayor detailed plans to launch a new London Games Festival; a ten-day event across 15 different venues with the BFI, BAFTA Game Awards and Rezzed all getting involved to “do for London what fashion week has done for the fashion sector.”

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This represents a surprising turnaround for Mr. Johnson who, in a Guardian editorial 10 years ago, claimed that video games were responsible for “ignorance, underachievement, and poverty.” He even went so far as to call for a complete abandonment of gaming as a hobby, writing that it “is time someone had the guts to stand up, cross the room and just say no to Nintendo. It is time to garrotte the Game Boy and paralyse the PlayStation, and it is about time, as a society, that we admitted the catastrophic effect these blasted gizmos are having on the literacy and the prospects of young males.” Someone has changed their tune.

Regardless, the three-year-long program is set to be a big deal for the London games industry, and is set to kick off April 1st with the London Games Festival. Britain is already home to big and renowned game developers such as Rockstar North, Remedy and Media Molecule, with the annual Develop conference in Brighton already putting the country on the map for the games industry.