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Scotland’s Games Ecosystem and Commercial Opportunity Areas

Scotland has a unique concentration of strength in this sector, with potential to expand even further such that the nation becomes a world leader in the field.

Back in Oct 2020 Scottish Development International held this webinar – Scotland’s Games Ecosystem and Commercial Opportunity Areas.

In this video Chris van der Kuyl, (Chairman, 4J Studios) Maurizio Sciglio (Studio Director, Epic Games), Paul Durrant, (Founder & Chief Executive, UK Games Fund), Gregor White (Dean of Design and Informatics, Abertay University) and Susan McColl (Lead for Creative Industries, Screen & Media, Creative Economy, Scottish Enterprise / SDI) talked about about Scotland’s Games Ecosystem and Commercial Opportunity Areas.

The gaming industry underwent an explosion in terms of size and reach in the 21st century. This was a result of the concerted reaction between developments in technology and the ability to monetize these games by improving on every aspect of the process.

Scotland has a unique concentration of strength in this sector, with potential to expand even further such that the nation becomes a world leader in the field.

Video Summary

The moderator of this webinar is Colin Macdonald, who is the director of Games Jobs Live. He was the producer of the Early Grand Theft Auto Games, and has been involved in a number of different games and tech companies across Scotland. He will introduce the audience to the speakers of this webinar.

The first speaker of this webinar is Susan Nicole and she is the lead for Creative Industries, Screen & Media, Creative Economy, Scottish Enterprise. She will be talking about the introduction to SE/SDI: Setting up in Scotland.

The purpose of this enterprise is to create more better jobs that not just share wealth but also collective well-being. Scottish Development International (SDI) is the international trade and investment body for Scotland and brings together the knowledge and expertise of the Scottish Government, schools shaped price, Highlands, and Islands Enterprise, providing support for people and organizations your plan to invest or develop their presence in Scotland.

Scottish Development International have over 30 offices in 23 countries throughout the world. This sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Scotland and its contribution to the economy has grown to 62% between 2008 and 2017.

It is estimated to support around £9 billion worth of activity. But then the weight of Scottish economy and contribute their own five point five billion to the Scottish Gross domestic product, computer games, special our film, in fact, citizens are all significant to the cave and industries. Scotland is one of the top developer locations for software development, digital technology, film and tv.

SDI has created some of the games, the UK’s first ever Center of Excellence as and Computer Games education, Saudi and Computer Games Education as an app or to University of Dundee Scottish Enterprise and Face and the Game and Education and End Game which is an eleven point five million adding de Center and Dundee aims to Jive Process Technology and product innovation across games in media.

Scotland is a high value location for game development. In Scotland this industry carried out a lower cost than many European and UK locations. Scottish Development International can provide support to companies that want to express opinion about Scotland and face-to-face connections.

They can also help people to chain and develop their staff. Research and support service can also provide a range of San Francisco to support any games companies looking to set up in Scotland, including things like Mark Intelligence and just do chains compared to 10 sites. They have recently announced that people between 8 to 15 years can do a film project that will be a package of animation project.

The second speaker of the video is Maurizio Sciglio, who is the studio director and director of media services at Epic Games. He will be talking about the topic ‘case study: choosing Scotland’. He is originally from Italy. He graduated in Computer Engineering.

In 2004 he decided to move to Scotland to pursue his career in computer games. He started as a programmer and an engineer. Then over the years, he started managing engineering teams and companies like real-time, Jog X etc. In 2012-2013 he decided to establish a technology company for video games. Then he moved to the Scotland and the company grew to 25 people rapidly. He sold it to Epic Games at the end of 2017 and in 2018 the company became Epic Games Scotland. He will talk about why did he choose Scotland for a gaming company?

According to him ecosystem is the most important parameter for living in any country. In Scotland generating idea is very easy. Scotland is great for networking perspective. In Scotland access to funding is pretty easy. Here, Ideas and implementation of ideas are free. He got a lot of help from the Scottish Enterprise. Scotland is a country which is full of founders of technology. It made engagement easy for him. That’s were the reasons why he chose Scotland for his gaming company.

The third speaker of this webinar is Paul Durrant and he is the founder and CEO of the UK Games Talent and Finance CIC. He will talk about the games company funding overview. He will give a perspective on how they serve their UK community from Scotland and specifically from Edinburgh. They run the UK games fund. They also run trends user.

This company just recently resurrected Predator Prey to become a virtual showcase for the transfuse the teams. They have the UK games on the wards. And all of that has led to about 1200 grant applications. They funded 130 companies. They’ve got 25 established hubs in universities. They have also seen some of the early-stage development hotspots and fortunately they have funded some really good companies along the way.

They are becoming involved in Scotland regarding funding because of quality of light, the local context, really important certainty of course, and having amazing universities on the doorstep and all of the dynamics around that the networking and the way that movement happens essentially. Fantastic cultural investment, profits being re-invested in both capital and other equity type investments, political recognition, media recognition and fantastic internationalization are the marks of an effective and dynamic cluster, which is present in Scotland for gaming companies.

The fourth speaker is Gregor Point, who is the Dean of Design and Informatics at Harvard University.
He will talk about a little bit about the maturing process that, poll that they did to the relationship with the clustered in the city. He will further talk about education skills and development opportunities in Scotland. There are 26 colleges and 14 universities in Scotland, plus 1 or 2, outliers as small institutions like the School of Art and the conservatoire.

Some of the dedicated programs haven’t been done in these campuses under kind of local network that they have built up with an apartment institutions university than the University of saint Andrews. It’s a consequence of the concentration of games companies in the city, the way the cluster operates as supported the development of this, a dedicated resource, and dedicate educational resources in and around the city. It’s really important that that academics working closely with the games industry, understand the challenges of the industry and the knowledge demands and skills demands that come along with a fast-moving industry over the last decades.

Alongside the colleges and universities, there’s the other organizations, agencies in the training development landscape that make a real contribution to the cluster and the games industry in particular. Alongside things like engagement and UK games, when the universities, services offered by the elevator Accelerator Program and the city, designed for business works with and supports businesses, it reflects and reviews their service and their operations.

The fifth speaker is Chris Van der Kyle, who’s the chairman for G Studios. He will give the audience an overview about the Scottish game ecosystem. In 1995 he took a huge risk and created the world’s first games, masters, and then games undergraduate degree, and have created one of the best programs in the world as a talent pipeline. A big chunk of the revenue of the most successful, single game franchise in the world was developed in Scotland. According to him the cluster is huge here. Nobody can find anywhere in the world as many game developers per head of population as in Scotland. This country warmly welcomes all newcomers.

Video Timeline

0:00 – 4:23 – Intro
4:23 – 8:47 – Introduction to SE/SDI: setting up in Scotland
8:47 – 15:21 – Case Study: Choosing Scotland
15:21 – 22:59 – Game company funding overview
22:59 – 31:59 – University and Skills Overview
31:59 – 37:18 – Scottish Game Ecosystem Overview
37:18 – 1:02:28 – Q&A Session


Editor of On a mission to build a world leading Scottish digital nation.

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