04/10/2022 |

Indielab, the UK’s leading Creative Industries accelerator company, is delighted to announce the cohort of local Games businesses selected to take part in the Indielab South Yorkshire Games Accelerator, which launches today in Sheffield. The programme, which will support Games developers and tech providers across South Yorkshire, will be delivered in partnership with TEAM SY, a project part-financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund and delivered in partnership with Barnsley Council and Capital Enterprise.

Additional support for the Indielab South Yorks Games Accelerator comes from the Screen Industries Growth Network, using public funding by Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation. SIGN, based at the University of York, is providing funding for two modules of the accelerator. The accelerator’s sponsors are Moore Kingston Smith, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Barclays Bank PLC and Harbottle & Lewis LLP. Harbottle & Lewis will offer one-to-one consultations to the accelerator’s participating companies.

The 11 companies chosen for phase one of the Indielab South Yorks Games Accelerator are: ALJO Games, Boneloaf, Cave Monsters, Continental Games, Dendrite Games, Die Gute Fabrik UK, Fish Bladder Games, Gritstone Games, Megaverse, Mr Qwak and Studio Nefce.

The companies were selected from applications from across South Yorks, and have worked on a range of titles, including Gang Beasts, Retro Racing, Planet Possible and Tafl Champions: Ancient Chess.

Games company Boneloaf comments: “We're pleased that Boneloaf is part of the cohort for the Indielab South Yorkshire Games Accelerator and we’re excited to use the advice and support we get from the programme’s mentors and speakers to audit our current business model and plan the next set of key objectives and strategies for the company."

Laura Bennett, Programme Lead and Super Connector at TEAM SY said: “We are very excited to be launching this innovative Games Accelerator programme for the South Yorkshire region in partnership with Indielab Games. Yorkshire’s digital industry continues to grow rapidly and TEAM SY is wholly committed to providing the foundations for local businesses to achieve their growth goals, through the provision of targeted knowledge, support and expertise.”

Feedback from cohorts who attended the Indielab Games West Yorkshire 2022 programme was unanimously positive. Virpi Kettu, founder of Kettu Studios, commented “It’s a highly comprehensive and educational programme which is an amazing privilege to be part of. Recommend!” Whilst Saif Meer, founder of Halcyon Palace said "An invaluable experience, especially if you are a small/mid-sized company looking for unbiased opinions on how to succeed in the games industry."

Phase One of the Indielab South Yorkshire Games Accelerator, which launches today, will be celebrated with a Games Networking Reception in central Sheffield, where the new cohort of Games studios will be joined by Games industry professionals, sponsors and stakeholders for an evening of introductions and networking.

The three month programme will include masterclasses and seminars from industry leaders to help cohort companies consolidate fundamental areas which drive decision-making. Participants will be provided with a bespoke growth programme and expert advice on the key success factors for business growth, and will address a range of areas, including a focus on routes to market, forecasting models, innovation and creative leadership, investment readiness and pitching to win. A focused investment readiness strand will form the second phase of the programme and will culminate in an investor pitch, for project investment or equity, open to all participants – an event that has historically delivered a 20% conversion rate across the Indielab’s cohorts, delivering numerous investment deals for creative businesses.

Victoria Powell, Indielab’s founder and programme director, says: “We are delighted to be bringing our acclaimed Games Accelerator programme to South Yorks. This is an exciting time for the digital industry in South Yorkshire, and with

the continued commitment to invest in the region our Games Accelerator will support and nurture the potential of these local companies, providing participants with unparalleled knowledge, skills and expertise to help them grow their businesses.”

The UK market for video games reached a record figure of £7.16bn in 2021 – an increase of +1.90% from the previous record of £7bn in 2020. 9% of the UK’s games development talent is based in Yorkshire. It is estimated that 95% of UK businesses export, with an average of 45% of a UK games company’s turnover deriving from international sales. Ukie’s annual games market valuation shows the consumer game software market was valued at £4.28bn in 2021. This means that spend declined by 6.32% in comparison to 2020 but has grown 11.4% in comparison to a £3.84bn total from revised 2019 figures. Game hardware saw a record year, with consumers kitting themselves up with new consoles, accessories and upgraded PC game components, driving hardware revenues up a further +17.4% year on year to reach £2.66bn in 2021.

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