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Liverpool studios to showcase city region’s games industry prowess at international conference in San Francisco

A 20-strong delegation of developers, programmers and business leaders will showcase the Liverpool City Region’s thriving gaming sector at the industry’s signature global conference in San Francisco, California next week.

Representatives of ten Liverpool-based gaming and interactive entertainment studios are traveling to the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), taking place in the Moscone Center – the tech capital’s largest exhibition venue – from 20th to 24th March.

The group is made up of businesses from Liverpool City Region including vTime, Ripstone, Skyhook Games, Wushu Studios, d3t, Lucid Games, Keywords Studios, Avalanche Studios Group, Universally Speaking and Draw & Code and represents one of the City Region’s largest ever delegations at the event.

This year, they will be accompanied by representatives of Growth Platform’s Inward Investment team, Invest Liverpool City Region, to promote Liverpool’s thriving creative digital community and deep expertise in gaming to potential inward investors.  With strengths in talent, skills, suitable studio locations and a strong gaming ecosystem, the City Region is well placed to continue its growth and attract new and innovative companies into the City Region’s gaming sector.

The Liverpool City Region’s heritage in gaming dates back to the 1980s as the home of trailblazing British games developer Psygnosis, which was acquired by Sony in 1993.

The gaming industry, predicted to be worth $321 billion by 2026 according to PWC, has already proven to be a valuable source of foreign direct investment into Liverpool. In 2020, Sweden’s Avalanche Studios – creators of the wildly popular Just Cause franchise which has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide – chose the city as the location for its second international studio after New York.

Helen Cross, creative & digital sector lead at Growth Platform, said: “Today Liverpool City Region is rightly gaining recognition as one of the most significant clusters of games development and immersive technology expertise in the UK.

“For our businesses, GDC is a major opportunity to connect, market products and ultimately sign deals. For us, it’s a platform for demonstrating the amazing breadth of expertise, talent, creativity and growth support that makes the Liverpool City Region an ideal base for businesses expanding internationally. We’re looking forward to a week of helping to promote the City Region to some of the best companies and minds in the business.”

Clemens Wangerin is CEO of vTime, a UK metaverse company merging the real, augmented, and virtual worlds with revolutionary social platforms. He said: “GDC has returned at full strength this year and for us it remains the most important global games industry event in the calendar as far as business and development is concerned.

“We’re looking forward to a packed week of business meetings, exploring the conference and reconnecting in person with industry friends.”

David Harper is managing director of Skyhook Games, a studio which provides video game artwork for global clients. He said:  “Being able to attend GDC is a great opportunity for us to not only learn about the latest trends in the video games industry but is also amazing from a business development and networking perspective.  It is arguably the largest business focused gaming event in the world, with delegates from not only the UK and USA, but from all over the globe.

“We are hoping to make connections with clients we wouldn’t normally have had access to, as well as pitch our latest products to a wide selection of world-renowned companies.”

GDC has been a feature of the games industry in various iteration since the late 1980s. Billed as the sectors ‘greatest source of content and connections’, the 2023 event is expected to attract over 10,000 delegates from around the world.

Liverpool City Region’s creative & digital GVA has grown by 48% over the last decade and the city region is home to 4,000 SMEs in the creative and digital sector, employing over 20,000 people, forming a diverse and vibrant creative hub.

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