BGI interview says "lack of access to finance is stopping our games companies from graduating"

BGI interview says
Sean Cleaver

By Sean Cleaver

November 6th 2017 at 12:55PM

Speaking to The Times, the BGI's Rick Gibson talks about the need to create funding to help start-up companies get their feet on the ground

The need for investment in a start-up project is essential, but UK game start-ups are suffering from a lack of investment in a key bracket, which could be addressed by a British Games Institute.

According to an interview with The Times, Rick Gibson says that there is a big gap between companies needing between £200,000 and £2 million in order to start projects. The comments come on the back of a recent petition to start a British Games Institue, with Ian Livingstone CBE. It is hoped that a single, government-backed body can do a similar job as the BFI does to wider media and focus on investment and representation of games at a national policy level.

"Only two per cent of games companies have successfully accessed institutional finance," Gibson said to The Times journalist, James Hurley. "Unless you've got combined experience in your team of more than 50 years, or you've got a really successful old franchise that you've somehow managed to get hold of, start-up games companies typically hugely struggle to raise money.

"It's a real constraint to growth. Lack of access to finance is stopping our games companies from graduating... If your company can barely get its first product out the door, you get stuck. If a start-up got £500,000 from us [BGI], we would help them to secure £1.5 million from other sources. That £2 million will help a company build its first three projects and hit the ground and start to make commercial returns."

The BGI petition at the time of writing is currently standing at 7,251 signatures. The petition is hoped to get the attention of government and will back up an 80-page proposal to the UK Treasury asking for an annual investment of £7.7 million. As well as games investment, the BGI hopes to address the skills shortage in the industry with further education and aims to address the lack of diversity in the UK games industry.

With thanks to The Times