Full Tiga/NESTA â??Play Togetherâ?? FAQ

Full Tiga/NESTA â??Play Togetherâ?? FAQ

By Develop Staff

June 15th 2009 at 8:57AM

Everything you need to know about the new proposals

Further to our report earlier today outlining Tiga and NESTA’s radical new proposals to aid the videogame industry, below you can find a full FAQ covering any questions you may have.

More information will be available on Tiga’s new website: www.tiga.org

The information outlined hereinbelow has been offered by Tiga. It was not written by Develop.


1. What is Play Together?
Play Together is a Tiga-NESTA joint initiative aimed at supporting the UK games industry, fostering greater collaboration and communication within the industry, and also between the industry and other creative industries and third parties (such as universities). We hope these initiatives will make the UK industry, stronger, more robust, more flexible and even more innovative and creative.
We also hope these initiatives will help the industry with issues such as redundancies, skill shortages, staffing and high recruitment costs.

2. What is Tiga?
TIGA is the UK’s trade association for games developers. Tiga represents the interests of the UK games industry. Tiga has many of the UK's most successful games development studios amongst its members. Tiga also has outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities as members.

3. What is NESTA?
NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts - a unique body with a mission to make the UK more innovative. We invest in early-stage companies, inform and shape policy, and deliver practical programmes that inspire others to solve the big challenges of the future.

Our independence and ability to work across different sectors allows us to bring together ideas from a wide range of perspectives. And because we can take a longer-term view, we are able to assume a greater burden of risk than others.

NESTA does not work alone. Our success depends on the strength of the partnerships we form with innovators, policymakers, community organisations, educators and other investors. We bring the best ideas, new flows of capital and talented people together, and encourage others to develop them further.

4. Why are Tiga/NESTA launching Play Together?

NESTA decided to partner with Tiga and fund the `Play Together’ initiatives to look at staffing the industry in a new way, helping the games industry work together by providing a forum for communication and collaboration both within the industry and also between the industry and other creative industries. We believe the UK game industry is one of the success stories of the UK economy, we want to foster its inherent creativity and help the industry become even more successful in the future.

5. How did Play Together and the Tiga-NESTA partnership come about?
NESTA conducted research into the challenges faced by the games industry that included a workshop with members of the development community. These initiatives came from the development community through this consultation.

6. What are the initiatives:

a) Industry Sharing
• A free service allowing UK developers to share people to maximise efficiency and encourage greater industry collaboration
• Games companies and individuals (freelancers) can post the resources they have to share and list when they will be available

b) Industry Services
• A simple database allowing developers and suppliers (freelancers) to advertise their key services to potential industry partners
• To allow new talent to shine, we are showing off portfolios of new companies that have been trading for under 24 months

c) Creative Industries SWITCH
• A service enabling the best creative minds from all industries to share knowledge, exchange ideas and get some commercial projects off the ground
• Key contact for this initiative is Lorna Evans, lorna.evans@tiga.org and 0779 2002208

d) Education Exchange
• A service providing students and professionals with information on university / education courses and potential industry collaborations
• Games companies can use this service to locate universities that are interested in working together/collaborating on research and visa versa
• Universities that are members of Tiga will be able to list their courses and advertise areas for collaborative research

e) Jobs Board
• Jobs board for all UK developers. This will be free of charge from July to December 2009

7. When will it launch and where can I find more information?
You can find more information about Play Together on the Tiga website. Phase one (beta version) of the website will be launch on June 15th 2009 and this will include basic information about all five initiatives and contact details for further information.

Following consultation and feedback from the industry the full Play Together website will launch in mid-July 2009. This will include full search functionality and will be populated with full information on all available Industry Sharing, Industry Services, Education Exchange, Jobs Board and Creative Industry Switch services.

8. How much will it cost?
The Industry Sharing, Industry Services, Creative Industries SWITCH and the Jobs board are free and open to all for 6 months. After 6 months some initiatives, for example, the Jobs board, may be subject to a small fee (lower for Tiga members). The Education Exchange will be free to Tiga members.


9. What about protection of IP, how will Industry Sharing really work?
Tiga is a facilitator only. Protection of IP is something that individual companies will manage on a case-by-case basis. However, we do have a number of case studies that show how this has worked successfully among UK developers.

10. Can anyone use these programs or just Tiga members?
The Industry Sharing, Industry Services, Creative Industries SWITCH and the Jobs board are free and open to all for 6 months. After 6 months some initiatives, for example, the Jobs board, may be subject to a small fee (lower for Tiga members). The Education Exchange will be free to Tiga members.

11. How will these programs actually work? Who do I contact to post a job or area of share/swap interest?
From June 15, 2009 you can find basic information about the Play Together initiatives on www.tiga.org or you can contact Lorna.Evans@tiga.org.

Following consultation and feedback from the industry the fill Play Together website will launch in mid-July 2009. This will include full search functionality and will be populated with full information on all available Industry Sharing, Industry Services, Education Exchange, Jobs Board and Creative Industry Switch services.

12. How do you decide who will be profiled in the shine portfolio section? How long will my profile be live for?
Shine portfolios are designed to showcase companies that have been trading for less than 24 months; they will be updated every month. The portfolios are chosen by the Tiga team based on our knowledge of the industry. However if you would like to be featured you can contact the team to make an application. Please contact Lorna Evans on lorna.evans@tiga.org.

13. Who will be allowed to use Industry services? Is it open to everyone or just game developers?
This section is open to all UK game developers, third party suppliers, relevant freelancers and affiliate industries, with the approval of Tiga.
From June 15, 2009 you can find information about all this at www.tiga.org or you can contact Lorna.Evans@tiga.org. From mid-July you will be able to post details and register directly via the website.

14. How does the jobs board work? Is it only open to developers or can recruitment agencies also use this service for free?
This service is only available to UK companies who wish to recruit directly. It works similarly to any jobs board: companies can post vacancies and individuals can search for positions. This service is not open to agencies.

15. Is the Government involved in Play Together?
No this is a Tiga-NESTA initiative only. The Government is not involved.

16. What is the Government doing to help?
Tiga has been lobbying the Government, MPs at the Westminster Parliament and the MSPs in the Holyrood Parliament to consider tax breaks for games production, making the existing R&D tax credits more generous and improving education and skills to ensure that the games industry has access to a skilled workforce.

Today Bill Olner MP has also announced the formation of an all-party group to ensure that issues affecting the video games industry are highlighted in Parliament.

17. What is an all-party group and how is it involved in Play Together?
Parliament has a number of all-party groups concerned with a wide variety of subjects. Membership of these groups is drawn from backbench members of all political parties in Parliament and they provide an opportunity for cross-party discussion and co-operation on particular issues. All-party groups sometimes act as useful pressure groups for specific causes helping to keep the government, the opposition and MPs informed of parliamentary and outside opinion.
Under a standing order of the House, an all-party group must include at least five members of the government party and five from the opposition parties. Officers must be elected annually. Peers as well as MPs can belong to these groups.
The all-party group chaired by Bill Olner, is not involved in Play Together in any way. However we believe that Bill Olner and the members of the Group will support the initiatives.