London’s gaming industry boosted by £1.2m investment and new festival

 A ‘Minecraft’ version of Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced a new programme entitled Games London, designed to make London the gaming capital of the world.

The three-year programme will include the launch of the London Games Festival, taking place from 1 to 10 April 2016, and a range of networking events and training initiatives.

Games London is being funded by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) and launched by Film London and games trade body Ukie.

Johnson, who is chair of the LEP, said: “London is already a star player when it comes to games and interactive entertainment, but international competition is fierce and we need to ensure our city can compete with our global gaming rivals.”

Games London hopes to build on the success of the UK games sector, which generated £2.5bn in 2015. It will also make use of the Video Games Tax Relief, which allows UK game developers to claim back up to 20 per cent of their production costs.

Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said: “The UK is home to some of the best and most experienced games talent in the world and is already responsible for the most successful, innovative and creative global titles. This welcome backing from the Mayor of London for Games London will celebrate and highlight London as a key business hub for creativity and innovation in the UK. Games London will celebrate and shift perceptions of games as a vital cultural medium, an important art form, and a key cultural industry.”