Could Brighton Become the UK’s Gaming Hub?

Brighton and the surrounding areas may be known for many things – the nightlife, the culture, the beaches, and the cosmopolitan melting pot of personalities. But could it soon be known for developing the country’s leading gaming talent?

Gaming’s Bright Brighton Future

First Base – the team behind the Edward Street Quarter redevelopment – have teamed up with Wired Sussex to bring more attention to the games production industry based in Greater Brighton. The campaign hopes to entice investors by showcasing the proficiency of the industry in the region. Research will be undertaken to remove barriers to further growth and a slate of events will be run to bolster the region’s gaming credentials.

Managing Director of Wired Sussex claims that the region sells “tens of millions of console, mobile, and PC games.” This pedigree, as well as investment and involvement by First Base, will hopefully draw more towards the region. At present, Brightrock Games, Fat Fish Games, and Player Research reside in Brighton, among many others in the field of software development and games design. The infrastructure for gaming to thrive in the region is certainly there, investors just need for it to be highlighted adequately.

Video Gaming

Gaming Growth Reflects Changing Digital Trends

Gaming isn’t growing in popularity as an isolated incident. It is part of a wider push across entertainment to deliver traditional industries to consumers in innovative ways, often utilising digital technology. This content is often engaged with through mobile devices. For Brighton to cultivate gaming talent, it must address the trends that are prevalent across entertainment – which can be categorised by a need for content to be readily available and easier to engage with. There is also a growth of independent creators who develop a following on their own merit.

The growth of casual gaming is a trend that developers are leaning into. For example, short-lived app Quibi was to reboot how we consumed TV. The five-to-eight-minute episodes were to allow us to watch something in short breaks while still leaving us feeling fulfilled in terms of narrative. This can be seen in BBC comedies such as Mandy and State of the Union that follow this same short-form structure to deliver full episodes in sharp bursts.

Instagram’s Reels feature allows influencers and social media stars to create video content that we watch on the platform as a rival to video sharing sites such as YouTube, and shows how engaging in content can be done quickly on mobile devices in a casual way. Furthermore, the rise of eSports players means that gaming is no longer a solitary pursuit, but one that can be live-streamed and eventually monetized.

The online casino industry also represents the shifting trends across entertainment. As most online casino and slot sites as are mobile-optimized, the scope of what players expect from the industry grows. Slot gameplay transfers well to mobile devices and many sites offer their table game output and even live casino options on mobile devices. This reflects the overall commitment to quality that gaming should achieve. Moreover, being able to engage with games on social media pushes developers to think outside the box on the content they develop. Facebook is already working on expanding its gaming platforms to target its growing older audiences who may experience games first-hand through social media.

Part of the push for industry to develop in Brighton comes down to a national burst of activity that will see major industries move away from London. While Channel 4 and the government’s own secondary Conservative HQ move to Leeds, and BBC continue their growth in Manchester, Brighton could become the UK’s centre for gaming excellence. The first step towards this goal is to showcase the talent in the region and let investors know how this gaming talent reflects the growing trends across entertainment.

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