Yorkshire and UK games network Game Republic will continue after March 31st 2011 thanks to the incredible support and private backing of the region’s games companies and higher education institutions. Game Republic companies including Sumo Digital, Revolution Software, Four Door Lemon and Just Add Water Ltd, along with the new Educational Partners including Leeds Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Bradford have all pledged their support and membership of the network past March 31st.
Game Republic was established in 2003 by the Yorkshire games companies, along with national games industry organisation TIGA, to encourage business and inward investment in the region. In 2007, the network was incorporated into Screen Yorkshire in order to access the regional screen agency’s business development and production funds, but recent funding cuts meant the network’s future was in doubt. Now, thanks to the backing of the region’s developers and higher education, Game Republic will continue as a private company, still serving the northern games industry with the core mission statement, “more business for Game Republic members.”
“I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible support from Yorkshire’s games industry and universities,” said Managing Director of Game Republic, Jamie Sefton. “Now we’ll be able to continue the work of the network to host regular events, access funding, encourage collaboration and bring major games companies into the region to help all our members – including our new Educational Partners.”
Game Republic has in the past two years hosted events in the region with Microsoft, Sony and other platform-holders, facilitated bringing the Eurogamer Expo to Leeds in October 2009, co-developed the State of Independence conference in York in April 2010, and organised the Games Invest 2010 event at the Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court – as well as investing more than £150,000 of Screen Yorkshire funds into games projects and helping more than 20 companies travel to international events with 50% UKTI and regional funding. After several years of support from Screen Yorkshire the Game Republic network will now build on this legacy and continue without public funding.
The new Game Republic Educational Partners initiative will greatly expand on the work that the network achieves with the Student Showcase, bringing together the region’s final-year and postgraduate students to have their projects judged by Game Republic companies – which in 2009 and 2010 resulted in nine placements and two full-time jobs. Game Republic is passionate about encouraging a closer relationship between games companies and universities that will have benefits and rewards for both, and the network will continue its support of NESTA and the implementation of the Livingstone-Hope report.
Game Republic is a Yorkshire-based industry-led games network that welcomes membership from any games companies, higher education establishments, games-related companies or sponsors wanting to collaborate and encourage business in the region and across the north of the UK. Game Republic members receive a host of benefits including 10% off the Develop Brighton Conference 2011 19-21 July. Featuring over 80 sessions from top name speakers, visit www.developconference.com for more info.
TIGA, the games trade association for the UK, has again pledged its support of Game Republic and both networks will be working together on future initiatives and events that will be of benefit to the whole UK games industry. Game Republic will be encouraging all its members to join TIGA – www.tiga.org
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