The importance of the Midlands to the digital gaming industry will again be recognised when Birmingham plays host to the 2Digital Days event this month.
The initiative is being run by inward investment programme, Business Birmingham, to showcase what the region can offer potential investors in the digital gaming sector.
Held during Global Entrepreneurship Week, 2Digital Days offers a bespoke boot camp of activities including participation in LAUNCH Future Gaming and Digital Conference 2011, gaming and tech showcases, city, digital district and company tours, one-to-one meetings and master classes.
The initiative is part of Business Birmingham’s drive to showcase the city’s digital credentials and attract global investors to the city.
The West Midlands is home to nearly a quarter of the UK’s digital gaming workforce and more than 5,800 digital companies, including market leaders such as Codemasters, Sega, Rare and Blitz.
Digital media and gaming were recently identified by global location specialists, IBM PLI, as sectors of strength for Birmingham, and are both key targets for driving further inward investment.
Sarah Darch, investment manager at Business Birmingham, said: “Business Birmingham’s 2Digital Days initiative is a great opportunity for prospective investors to experience the buzz of Birmingham’s digital scene. The city and wider area has unlimited potential for digital media companies looking to expand their operations, or locate in the UK.
“There is some really exciting, ground-breaking work taking place in and around the city and a number of high-profile companies and initiatives are really helping Birmingham lead the way in this sector. ‘2Digital Days’ will help the digital industry’s leading players see the opportunities for themselves.”
The programme gets under way with the LAUNCH Future Gaming and Digital Conference, which takes place on November 16 at Birmingham Science Park Aston and will see some of the biggest names in the industry sharing their expert knowledge.
Speakers at the one-day conference include Ian Livingstone OBE, life president of Eidos, Mike Gamble, European territory manager, Epic Games, and Chris Southall, chief technical officer, SEGA Europe.
As well as the speaker programme, the event will also provide delegates with an insight into the industry’s latest online tools, computer game and mobile products and services.
“The UK games industry is the second largest in the world after the US and the West Midlands is home to 25 per cent of the country’s total games workforce,” said Dr David Hardman, chief executive officer, Birmingham Science Park.
“This conference provides a wealth of knowledge and subject matter that is perfect for anyone in the gaming or digital industries.”
An 18-strong conference advisory panel including representatives from games developer Rare, IndeCity, Birmingham Metropolitan College, and Google UK, will be volunteering time to develop the conference sessions.