The Channel Island Game Developers group have launched a new website to encourage game development in both the Jersey and Guernsey Bailiwicks.
Paul Arnold told Channel Eye: “I don’t think enough has been done to support and encourage the growth in game development, so this website has been set up to push it a bit further.”
Paul explained: “We’re hoping that groups will form within this community and people will end up setting-up their own companies, much like I have done with Lapin Logic Ltd.
“There is a news section on the website which is where we will post articles about the games that the members are working on. Currently we have 132 members both old and young on our Facebook page – some of our members have been involved in the games industry since the 1970s (Dr. Nigel Roberts) and 1980s/1990s.
“At our first physical group meeting held in Jersey last month, One of our members, Phil Morris, gave us a great demonstration of his virtual reality space station project at Fort Regent. Phil said that the gaming industry in the UK provides some £7bn annually to ‘UK PLC’. This is clearly an industry with merit but at this time it is unfortunate that none of the Channel Islands have a games industry to speak of.”
Paul says there are several reasons why the Channel Islands don’t have a games industry:
- “There does not appear to be any Government backing (financial) for game development projects currently.
- “Game development courses were started at Jersey’s Highlands College in 2017 with, I believe Guernsey being a similar story. The courses are at BTEC level which is a great start but there are no degree options unless people leave the island to study at university. Many that do this choose not to return to their home islands as there aren’t any game companies on the islands. It is a vicious cycle.
- “Investors within the islands have very little to no interest in funding game development projects. This is due to many being extremely risk averse and also having no knowledge of the games industry as a whole.”
Paul says that he has been extremely impressed by the enthusiasm and talent that the group members have exhibited already.
“I think with the right encouragement, there is every chance that the Channel Islands could soon have a thriving independent game development scene, much like the one in Brighton.
“The good thing about ‘creatives’ in general is that there is very little rivalry between them. They just want to create, help one another and discuss ideas. Obviously, they also want to earn a living from what they create but that is not the only goal they have. I am very excited to see how this evolves for the enhancement of the Channel Islands.”