The newest addition to our TEAM SY programme is Indielab’s South Yorks Games Accelerator, the first ever accelerator for gaming to come to South Yorkshire. It’s made up of two accelerators under one umbrella, the first with a focus on game developers whilst the second works with game tech and middleware. These two accelerators will introduce studios and creators to influential investors, publishers, and top industry leaders, culminating with an investor pitch for projects or equity.

Gaming is an important growth area for the UK economy, with the UK consumer gaming market valued at over £7.16bn and several significant clusters of game studios located around the country. 

Globally, games makers are attracting new levels of interest from investors. It is estimated that 250-350 million people play console and high-end PC games with another 2.5 billion people gaming on their smartphones. Worldwide revenues for the industry are thought to be around $150bn. Even more important is the sheer amount of time people spend on games, as they soak up spare time spent sitting on the bus or in more intimate confines at home. Netflix recently admitted it sees Fortnite, a multiplayer universe, as stiffer competition than HBO, the studio behind Game of Thrones. 

The UK’s gaming sector is already the largest and most competitive in Europe and we see the surge of interest in gaming as a golden opportunity to further expand South Yorkshire’s gaming ecosystem. Tencent, among the largest gaming companies in the world, recently bought Sheffield games company Sumo Digital for £919m ($1.27bn) and every other major tech group worldwide has been on an acquisition spree. The elephant in the room is Microsoft’s $68.7 billion proposed acquisition of games maker Activision Blizzard, while Netflix and Meta have gotten into the action as well by snapping up a string of games studios worldwide.

This is excellent news for the UK’s gaming sector, which can only benefit from rising investment. We believe this will prove to be a major growth area for South Yorkshire’s startup ecosystem and are excited to welcome Indielab Games to the region. 

Interested in learning more about the Indielabs South Yorks Games Accelerator? You can find more information here and applications close 14th September.

The Indielabs South Yorks Games Accelerator is part of TEAM SY, a £4.6m ERDF part-funded programme to boost South Yorkshire’s startup and investment ecosystem, delivered by Capital Enterprise alongside Barnsley Council. 

Image credit: Sumo Digital’s Hood: Outlaws and Legends, from Steam.