When people think of gaming hubs in the United Kingdom, they think of Edinburgh, Scotland (the home of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar North) and London, England (the UK home of mega-publisher Activision). Cities outside of these areas, such as beloved Brighton, are rarely mentioned.
But that doesn’t mean that the Brighton gaming scene doesn’t exist and there is actually a lot of evidence that the scene is growing and thriving to cater to local gaming fans and industry talents.
Why Brighton is Useful for the Games Industry
If there’s one thing that gamers love, it is connected, social experiences that give them a chance to play alongside other people and maybe even make a few new friends. Gamers in Brighton currently have no shortage when it comes to online interaction; online casinos listed by Casinos Killer offer various social elements including chat windows that allow them to communicate with likeminded casino fans from the comfort of their home or office. Likewise, game streaming platforms like Twitch allow players to watch and connect with people as they play and multiplayer modes in games like Call of Duty, Fortnite and more feature voice chat.
However, gamers in Brighton have also been able to spend time together in real-life. Gaming pub The Islingword offers retro consoles and board games, for example, while C:\ Side Quest is a vegan gaming cafe that hosts events for titles like Blizzard’s hugely popular shooter, Overwatch. The interest in these real-life hangouts is evidence that Brighton gamers want to meet up in meatspace.
How the Games Industry is Building Its Presence in Brighton
This enthusiasm has not gone entirely unnoticed by the wider games industry. For example, the Develop: Brighton conference is a mainstay of the UK gaming events circuits and in 2018, the event is going to be bigger than ever. It was recently announced that Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida will be delivering the opening keynote. Other major industry figures, including high profile indie developers Mike Bithell and Rami Ismail will also be participating.
Meanwhile, there have also been developments on the development front. Recently, Mafia 3 developer Hangar 13 opened up a studio in Brighton as it continues to work on its next major game. Speaking of the decision to form a new team in the area, Hangar 13’s executive cited the huge amount of game development talent in Brighton and the surrounding area as a reason for picking this location.
Based on the recent events, it seems as though the games industry is steadily coming around the idea that major gaming hubs can exist outside of a capital city and that Brighton is a rich and fertile ground for consumer-facing activities and more business-focused dealings. At this point, it is far too soon to say whether we will see immediate big shifts with the area’s gaming scene, but with Brighton being so ripe for opportunity, it may only be a small matter of time until gamers are properly catered to.