Channel 4 to set up games publishing arm in Glasgow

Channel 4 looks to branch into Glasgow. Picture: AFP/Getty

Channel 4 looks to branch into Glasgow. Picture: AFP/Getty

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CHANNEL 4 today announced plans to set up a games publishing arm in Glasgow this summer in a move aimed at helping to “support and showcase” the thriving mobile industry.

The venture, called All 4 Games, will be led by the broadcaster’s games commissioning editor, Colin Macdonald, a graduate of Dundee’s Abertay University who served as producer on the best-selling Grand Theft Auto franchise while working at the city’s DMA Design studio in the late 1990s.

It is fantastic to see the team based in Scotland

Jo Twist

Macdonald, who went on to co-found Realtime Worlds, creator of the Bafta-winning game Crackdown, is also chairman of Edinburgh-based facial animation specialist Speech Graphics, which has worked on a music video for rapper Kanye West and a game based on the Lord of the Rings.

He said: “Channel 4 is renowned for working with growing creative companies and I’m delighted we’re able to throw even more of its weight behind the games industry.

“With over 1.5 million apps for users to choose from now, discoverability has become the biggest problem facing mobile game developers so it’s exciting to be able to do even more to support them and promote their amazing work to a wider audience.”

As well as producing its own titles, All 4 Games has pledged to publish a wide range of games from third-party developers each year, working with small firms to support their development and marketing.

Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham said the broadcaster has a “successful record for commissioning critically acclaimed games and I’m pleased that with the launch of All 4 Games we are able to extend our support for this hugely important part of the creative sector and help showcase the work of smaller games developers”.

The venture will initially create four roles, based in the Glasgow office on West George Street. Macdonald will report to Richard Davidson-Houston, head of All 4 and digital content, and Sarah Rose, director of commercial and business development.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by Jo Twist, chief executive of trade body UK Interactive Entertainment, who described the move as a “fantastic commitment from a major broadcaster who has recognised the power of games to reach huge audiences”.

She added: “It is fantastic to see the team based in Scotland too, a leading force in our wider UK industry.”

According to The Independent Game Developers’ Association (Tiga), the UK video games sector is the largest in Europe and employs more than 9,000 highly skilled staff.

Tiga chair Jason Kingsley, who is also chief executive of Nazi Zombie Army developer Rebellion, said: “We welcome Channel 4’s new proposition to support the UK’s games industry, helping independent games developers improve how they market and grow successful enterprises.”

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