Scotland 'emerging as important global dev hub'

Scotland 'emerging as important global dev hub'
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

February 27th 2012 at 9:30AM

UK's northerly games industry hot spot to demonstrate show of force at GDC

Scotland is fast becoming a globally competitive games development hub. ­

That’s according to Scottish Development International, an international arm of the Scottish Government, which is charged with attracting inward investment to the country while helping to promote its local studios’ interests globally.

“To that aim we have 23 offices around the world, and we run various missions and exhibitions, GDC being an example of one of the biggest,” said Mike Shiel (pictured), head of Creative Industries at Scottish Development International.

“At this year’s GDC we’ll have 18 companies and two universities represented at our stand.

"Then there’s our Talent Scotland initiative, which offers a database of people locally and internationally who wish to work in Scotland, including a lot of people in the creative industries and video games development.

“Scotland has a long history in creative innovations and that has set it up well to emerge as one of the world’s most important games hubs. This is where world leading games development is done.”

Shiel also highlighted Scotland’s communications infrastructure as a reason for company’s globally to consider the country as a destination for data centres for cloud gaming.

He pointed to the likes of Abertay University’s on-going Prototype Fund as evidence of the high levels of investment in the region for start-ups looking for a home for their business.

Also in the SDI’s toolbox are region specific initiatives like The Creative Clyde project.

Along with other gaming industry clusters such as Dundee, the organisation says this demonstrate in a ‘very tangible way’ Scotland’s track record in – and commitment to – supporting the growth of the sector.

“Alongside this, the future success of the Creative Clyde project in Glasgow depends to a large extent on SDI’s proven ability to attract foreign direct investment, it’s a real partnership," said Shiel.