Several major publishers doing business in the United Kingdom have teamed up with the British government to fund a whole new generation of game designers, according to Gamasutra. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Ubisoft Reflections have teamed up with the British government to back The Next Gen Skills Academy, which will fund video game developers, visual effects and animation professionals.
Apparently Destiny's release in the UK helped increase sales of Sony's PS4 console in the region dramatically. PS4 sales rose by a phenomenal 300 percent week-on-week during the launch of Destiny, according to MCV - citing a source with access to unreleased Chart-Track data.
UK video game trade body TIGA has put forth a proposal calling on the British government to create a new Creative Content Fund for video games to the tune of £3 million ($4.9 million) annually. Last month the British government finalized tax breaks for video game production cost to companies that create games that can pass a British cultural test. Naturally TIGA was delighted with this news, after fighting several years to get them on behalf of the shrinking video game industry, but now the trade group wants more.
One million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold in the United Kingdom since launch, according to an announcement from Sony, making its current-generation console the "one of the fasted selling systems in UK history."
At launch in the UK, Sony sold 250,000 units in the first few days of availability, surpassing the Wii U's lifetime total in the country in short order.
UK-based gamer charity SpecialEffect announced the winners of SpecialEffect Soccer Fives and that it managed to raise a cool £3000 for its ongoing mission of helping individuals with disabilities find new and exciting ways to play video games. The soccer event took place last Friday in the shadow of Wembley Stadium, with the Sports Interactive (makers of the Football Manager series) team winning the 2014 SpecialEffect Soccer Fives Trophy by beating out RuneScape maker Jagex.
Voting has opened for which UK-based charitable organization GamesAid will support this year through various fundraising efforts. You can help them by visiting this link and casting your vote for one of the following charities. While GamesAid is a gaming-focused charity, the organization hands out donations to a wide variety of worthy causes.
This year's candidates are:
Developers of video games that are deemed "culturally British" can claim tax relief on some of the production costs in the United Kingdom thanks to a new tax relief scheme that officially went into effect in the region yesterday.
Under the newly implemented plan, game developers and publishers can claim a tax credit of up to 25 percent on qualifying production costs associated with producing games that are certified by the BFI as culturally British.
Blizzard has revealed that when the next expansion for World of Warcraft is released later this year, subscribers in the UK will have to pay a slightly larger amount for their monthly subscriptions. When the Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft releases this November, the game's monthly subscription fee will increase to £9.99.
Game Music Connect organizers today announced that its 2014 international video game music conference, which returns to London's Southbank Centre on September 24, will be supported by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Game Music Connect is for aspiring and professional composers of all backgrounds and those interested in learning about the art and craft of creating video game soundtracks.
In a lengthy interview with Eurogamer, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli goes over all of the recent controversies surrounding the company including its finical stability, not paying employees on time, and selling off the Homefront IP to Koch Media.
Epic Games announced today that it is launching Epic UK after purchasing long-time collaborator Pitbull Studio. Pitbull will be rebranded as Epic Games UK, and will help drive Unreal Engine 4 development in Europe.
Pitbull collaborated with Epic on the development of Unreal Engine, and did work on Gears of War: Judgment and Silent Hill: Downpour. Epic Games UK will help drive Unreal Engine 4 development in Europe, according to Epic.
A new study from Oxford University suggests that playing video games for one hour a day can have a positive impact on child development. That same research concludes that playing more than one hour a day - or as researchers call it, "high levels of video game-playing " - is only "weakly linked" to behavioral problems in the real world.
GII reports that UK games publisher Mastertronic announced that it is being "forced" to apply for a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to avoid catastrophe over outstanding loans. In addition, the company announced that it will be closing its Cambridge, England headquarters, exiting the physical retail business it has been involved in for decades, and laying off 40 percent of its workforce.
The City of London's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has begun replacing advertising on sites deemed to be "copyright infringing websites" with official warnings from the government informing visitors that the site is under criminal investigation, according to this Wired UK report. The sites receiving these warnings that replace their ads have been designated by the government as "hosting copyright-infringing content" and reported to the agency by rights holders.
The UK video games regulator, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Baroness Shephard of Northwold who was appointed in 2005. The new Chair will be Tony Lake, who has served as a vice-chair for the organization since December 2009. According to the VCS, Tony Lake has an extensive background in law enforcement, having served for 36 years in the Police Service and working for five different police forces during his career.
The European Women in Games Conference will open its doors officially on Sept. 10 and will feature two keynote speakers (so far), organizers announced today. This year's event will take place at London South Bank University, in London England.
Topics being focused on this year relevant to women already in the games industry or trying to break in include setting up your own games company, games industry career advice on to how to encourage more school children to consider a career in the games industry, and much more.
UK households that repeatedly pirate music, movies, and other copyrighted material online will receive warning letters beginning in 2015. Beyond that, the new informational initiative to educate the UK populace on the ills of piracy and where to find legal sources for content seems to have no punitive component attached to it.
UK charity SpecialEffect will receive over £10,000 in funding thanks to runners in the recent British 10k. Those participants who ran for the charity include staff from Disney, EA, Microsoft, Rare, IGN, New Star, Firefly, Green Man, and Bandai Namco. All of the companies helped raise that final total, which will go towards the charity's goal of helping those with disabilities.
The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition has its first female winner: 16 year-old Rhianna Hawkins, who won the Game Concept Award for her concept game, Tomatos Role. The other big winner of this year's honors was 15 year-old Adam Oliver, who won the Game Making Award for AlienX after reaching the final stages of the competition for the third time. Oliver made the final ten for the Game Concept Award in 2010 and 2011.
The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that EA's free-to-play mobile title Dungeon Keeper can no longer be advertised in the region as being "free."
The watchdog agency said that timed in-game events that prevent players from progressing without micro-transactions are why EA needs to make changes in how it advertises the game, according to the ASA's website.
GII is reporting this morning that UK-based developer Rebellion has revoked thousands of Sniper Elite 3 Steam keys after - it claims - a retailer suffered a "security breach" which resulted in stolen keys being sold to customers through various means online. The game took the top spot in the UK charts for the most recently recorded week, according to Chart-Track.
Leslie Benzies, the president of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar North, will buy Edinburgh, Scotland’s St. Stephen’s Church to save it for the community, the Edinburgh Evening News reports. A spokesperson for Benzies said that the church is "an entirely philanthropic purchase" to preserve St. Stephen’s for community use. The church building is worth an estimated £500,000.
Kentucky Route Zero and Grand Theft Auto V have been named as finalists for the ninth annual GameCity festival's GameCity Prize award. The full shortlist of games up for the award include Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Gone Home, Grand Theft Auto V, Kentucky Route Zero. and Papers, Please. The GameCity festival takes places in Nottingham, England beginning Oct. 25 and running until Nov. 1.
Tablets have overtaken Nintendo's 3DS as the most popular personal gaming device owned by UK children, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting - as reported on by MCV.
New guidelines from Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) will make switching from one superfast broadband supplier to another less expensive. Prior to changes in the rules, when a consumer switched from BT's Openreach (the company that controls BT's phone and broadband infrastructure) the new ISP would be hit with a £50 connection fee. This fee was typically passed on to the consumer.
Candy Crush Saga developer King has joined UK video game industry trade group, Ukie. Ukie claims that its membership is over 200 businesses across the interactive entertainment sector. King, who is best known for creating the Candy Crush Saga game and for suing anyone who uses the words "Candy," or "Saga," became a publicly traded company in the United States this year.
Nintendo UK says that it will appeal a decision by a UK High Court judge who ruled last week that the Wii and Wii U violate several patents held by Philips. High Court judge Colin Birss said Nintendo infringed two Philips patents in a ruling last week related to the sensor and camera used in the Wii and Wii U. The judge said that Nintendo did not violate a third patent related to modeling a body in a virtual environment.
Nintendo issued the following statement on the matter:
Le Game Jam hopes to produce an awesome game based on the upcoming Tour de France event next month. Indie game developers taking part in the game jam have just 48 hours to create a Tour de France-themed video game at a unique joint event in Leeds and Sheffield, England before the great race next month. Teams from Leeds Metropolitan and Sheffield Hallam universities will be among those competing.