Writing for the Scotsman Brian Baglow of ScottishGames.net provides this excellent call to action for Scotland’s gaming sector.
He explains that despite the general impression that games are booming everywhere, Scotland has actually hit a crunch point.
As The National reported in 2019 growth in the sector has ground to a halt. A number of studios have closed and the existing base hasn’t grown to compensate for the losses.
Brian writes that it is a constant challenge to keep up with the very fast-moving sector, the ongoing evolution of technologies and business models, and it is essential for Scotland to be tapped into these dynamics.
A Scottish Games Cluster
This can be achieved through the development of an official cluster for the gaming sector. Brian has been awarded a ‘Connected Innovator’ grant to begin laying the foundations for this through mapping the sector.
He makes these critical observations for what this will address:
From what we do know, it seems like we should be doing better. We now have six universities and almost every college across Scotland offering games courses. But we’re not seeing many new start-ups. Very few games firms appear in Scottish incubators, accelerators, competitions or innovation centres.
The games industry has never really considered itself part of the whole “tech sector,” nor as part of the wider creative industries.
The development of a cluster would better integrate the industry to the larger scene and grow this much needed early stage innovation and financing.
As the Logan Review said, we’re all part of a larger, interconnected ecosystem. If we want to build a better, more collaborative digital future, then games and interactive media should be a key part of that. Mapping the industry in Scotland is a key first step.