A new independent review has included information about the idea that the UK Government could fund esports tournaments, national teams and media coverage to help raise the status of esports here.
The Bazalgette Review was published a few days ago, commissioned by the government and led by media consultant, investor and the current Chair of ITV, Sir Peter Bazalgette.
The report outlines recommendations for how the creative industries can underpin the UK’s future economic growth, and highlights how the sector is outperforming other sectors in terms of employment, having already grown 300,000 jobs overall between 2011 and 2015.
The report quotes a study by the Boston Consulting Group, which has called for the following in particular:
“National recognition of esports: Raise the status of esports with government sponsored competitions, national teams, and media coverage, e.g. esports is now an official part of Asian Games.
“National teams and junior leagues can be a lever to attract foreign investment to sponsor esports clubs, build gaming stadiums, design high-end or next generation gaming equipment (e.g. virtual reality headsets).”
The report also says that the UK’s creative industries could be worth £128.4 billion to the UK economy by 2025 and help to create up to 1 million new jobs by 2030.
It’s proposing a £23.7 million games industry fund which would be rolled out over five years.
We at the British Esports Association have been calling for government support in esports since being founded last year, as are video games trade association Ukie, who published an esports whitepaper.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley commented:
“The UK’s creative industries are an economic powerhouse and the government is committed to removing the barriers to its growth.
“The key challenge now is turning these ideas into a strong partnership, which is credible and has buy-in from both government and industry.
“I encourage the sector to do what it does best – think creatively and work with us on achieving a compelling and ambitious deal that allows the UK Creative Industries to continue to thrive.”
For clarity, the British Esports Association is a not for profit organisation set up to support and promote grassroots esports in Britain. We are not a government department or a governing body, we’re a national body hoping to work with government to help take esports to the next level in Britain.
We welcome the Boston Consulting Group’s calls on UK government to raise the status of esports in Britain.