Games developers invited to SIGN up for 2015

Southampton Solent University is set to host the first meeting of the Southern Independent Games Network (SIGN) on 21 January at 6pm.  

Members of the BCS Animation and Games Development SG are invited to attend along with anyone in the southern region interested in making professional games either as an indie or freelancer.   The main topic for discussion will be game development funding sources.

Initially the brainchild of Andrew Mitchell, a senior lecturer at Southampton Solent, the idea for a support network was developed with Course Leader Simon Brookes (University of Portsmouth) in an attempt to provide help and support to myriad small businesses, sole traders and freelancers working in the south and officially launched in November 2014.  Simon’s involvement has been critical to the success of the network to date. Bournemouth University have also since joined the network.

 “The landscape has changed dramatically in recent years”, explains Andrew, “and this has led to changes in the way in which game developers work.  Digital games are now distributed through multiple channels so publishing is much more flexible than it used to be.  For the first time ever the largest proportion of games development activity is being undertaken by small (often one to three people), independent games developers and many of these work from home studios.”

Simon adds: “The Government are finally recognising the huge potential of the games industry as a significant contributor to the UK economy. SIGN, as an organisation rooted in three of the south's leading universities, is ideally placed to leverage its strength to support the growth of this sector within the region.”

With a stream of potential new start-ups emerging from games courses offered by the universities each year and significant numbers already operating in the region, the necessity for some sort of formal networking group was apparent.

 “We have seen in recent years how some regions have produced strong, high-profile, games company ecosystems through the developers coming together in a coordinated, connected approach” Andrew concludes, “and this is what we are looking to achieve here in the south.  2015 is going to be an exciting year.”

For further details about the SIGN meeting in January see http://bit.ly/1wHHzkT

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MEDIA OFFICE ON 023 8031 9079 or press.office@solent.ac.uk

About Southampton Solent University  

Southampton Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

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Home to around 11,000 students studying everything from HNDs to PhDs, Southampton Solent University is dedicated to enabling learners of all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders, while also promoting economic and social prosperity. Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent is a dynamic university with strong local links and a growing network of global connections – and a reputation for developing grounded, well-prepared graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Holder of the small business charter, home to one of the world’s leading maritime training academies and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in the 2013 and 2014 Which? University student polls, Solent applies passion and innovative practice to all its courses. Spanning business and law, the creative industries, engineering and technology, maritime, media, sport and tourism, those courses deliver a practical blend of career-focused tuition and real-world experience – giving our students the tools they need to shape their own success.

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The landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, and this has led to changes in the way in which game developers work. Digital games are now distributed through multiple channels so publishing is much more flexible than it used to be. For the first time ever the largest proportion of games development activity is being undertaken by small (often one to three people), independent games developers and many of these work from home studios.
Andrew Mitchell, senior lecturer
The Government are finally recognising the huge potential of the games industry as a significant contributor to the UK economy. SIGN, as an organisation rooted in three of the south's leading universities, is ideally placed to leverage its strength to support the growth of this sector within the region.
Simon Brookes