Investing and Performance | 20 May 2024

Promoting our clients’ potential through the magic of London Games Festival

Our Interactive Entertainment Lead, Paul Franks, reflects on how the 2024 London Games Festival champions the power of a major growth industry.

This spring we once again partnered with London Games Festival – London’s showpiece celebration of the computer gaming industry and the cutting edge of interactive entertainment. Kicking off the festival we hosted over 300 investors, developers, professional players and games lovers at our London headquarters on 440 Strand.

It was a special evening. Our guests were treated to a live Rocket League match, real time Mario Kart and a number of virtual reality experiences. We also had a fitting homage to the heritage of the sector with classic arcade games as well as a string quartet playing some of the most famous gaming themes.

The highlight for me was meeting so many passionate advocates for gaming. One of the reasons I find it such an exciting space is the diversity of experiences, backgrounds, ideas and processes that it brings together – the potential for creativity is boundless. It was a pleasure to speak with gaming legend Sir Ian Livingstone who started Games Workshop before working for Eidos Interactive and then founding Hiro Capital to further invest in the sector. Likewise, it was amazing to chat to Robin Milton, founder of Norwich-based Fairer Games and developer of Brewess – a game which tells the story of a female entrepreneur in 16th century England.

Both Ian and Robin mentioned the importance of supportive finance in nurturing and growing new ventures in the industry. Globally, video game companies and markets are estimated to be worth $282 billion in 2024, according to Statista. So, it’s never been more important to have financial partners and providers that understand the sector, its challenges and its opportunities. That means bespoke finance that considers real growth potential and which supports gaming businesses through their start up phase and into a real value market presence. Money is important but so is networking, speed, regulatory awareness and a global view. For investors and founders that support can be invaluable because it’s hard to think of an industry in which the rewards are more pronounced when everything clicks.

Following the launch party, we were able to attend the Games Finance Market. We met with studios pitching for funding and enjoyed the two full days of meetings to engage with ideas and prospects and bring our financial knowledge to the table. Equally though, it was a chance to listen to industry concerns and learn from those at the creative coalface.

The London Games Festival also coincides with the BAFTA Games Awards. Like the Games Finance Market, it was a real pleasure to attend and grow our network with the great and good of the sector, securing some great connections and recognition for our team and our clients.

Finally, something I’m always proud of is the family feel to the festival. So much of that is down to Michael French and his team who are responsible for organising the festival and coordinating all the events that define it across the capital. At Coutts we were able to capture some of that family feeling too – I was delighted by the feedback from staff and clients who played the various games we installed for them at 440 Strand. Clients brought their children in and spent hours having fun over the Easter period. For me, that’s the perfect illustration of work-life balance and the importance of doing something you love.

London Games Festival is such an important event for the UK interactive entertainment sector and we’re privileged to partner and help amplify it and all the amazing potential of our clients. Hopefully next year will be bigger and better!

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