Start ups and new studios key to UK trade body's future plans
Ukie continues to push hard into the development space, today unveiling a three-pronged approach that grows what it can offer to studios and new firms as well as continue the political lobbying and market research it provides more established businesses.
It is the first big step for the UK trade body under new CEO Jo Twist, who joined at the start of the year.
After the ELSPA-to-Ukie rebrand two years ago, Ukie has long claimed to have a broader church of members. Two years later, with half of its members now non-publishers, it has proven the plan out, Twist explained.
But as the barriers and differences between developers and publishers continue to erode, Ukie will offer even more, she said.
"I've only ever worked with indie developers, and I've seen first hand the problems they have at the coal face.
"I think that our new strategy addresses all of their needs - but then that feed back into what every single one of our members need too.
"People say 'why not focus on just publishers, or just developers' but our industry is so diverse now.
"We already do deliver a lot to existing members - through market research, lobbying and press work we do - but now we are really widening that out.
"I want to prove to micro businesses and developers in particular that we are here for them.
"Every developer I speak to has the same problems, and they are actually very complex issues that someone like Ukie can address quite quickly and simply. Things like HR and legal problems, simple stuff - but we can be a one-stop shop for things like standard contracts."
Three distinct programs will shape what Ukie is:
The Industry Transition Programme. This is for the ‘old school’ element of Ukie that wants to learn about the new world of games and succeed in them. Ukie says that’s “publishers, media entertainment companies and others looking to transition into new marketplaces and business models”. Most important here is offering more research, analysis and insight into trends, marketplaces and consumer behaviour.
The Growth Ready Programme. This is for new businesses and start-ups, “developers, indies and new entertainment businesses who are redefining the industry”. A new Ukie website filled with documents and info for growing businesses is key here, with an emphasis on networking and knowledge sharing events.
The Talent Development Programme. This will focus on young talent (school aged children, school leavers, graduates and postgraduates) that wants to be in the games industry. Elements range from implementing the recommendations of the Next Gen skills report introducing Student membership.
Ukie is also building a Developers Manifesto, created in consultation with Ian Livingstone and the developer group in the organisation that he chairs. (It probably won’t require dice and a pen and paper to read it, mind.)
It has today also published a guide, ‘What does Ukie do for developers?’, which we have reposted here.