Leamington to host new video gaming festival

From left: Alex Darby (Founder, Darbotron), Nick Harper (Exient Studios), Nick Duncombe (Resource Manager, Playground Games) and Jordan Erica Webber (Games Journalist and Conference Chair).
From left: Alex Darby (Founder, Darbotron), Nick Harper (Exient Studios), Nick Duncombe (Resource Manager, Playground Games) and Jordan Erica Webber (Games Journalist and Conference Chair).

Leamington will play host to a new video gaming festival next year, it has been announced.

'Interactive Futures' will be held at the Royal Spa Centre on Friday February 1 and Saturday February 2, and will be preceded by an academic conference for colleges and universities on Thursday January 31.

It will offer a range of sessions and opportunities across three days for games professionals, content creators and curators, game players and families.

The event will celebrate the heritage and success of Leamington's games community, whilst also providing a platform for all UK-based games professionals to gain industry insights.

Known in the industry as 'Silicon Spa', Leamington and the surrounding area employs over 2,500 people in the industry and equates to over 10 per cent of the total UK games development workforce. The town has a history of over 30 years in the sector with local talent including companies such as Codemasters, SEGA and Ubisoft.

The event is backed by Warwickshire County Council, Warwick District Council and Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, who remain proud of Leamington's standing within the UK games industry.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Warwickshire County Council's leader said: "We look forward to welcoming the Interactive Futures games festival next year. It provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the world-class talent we have in the region, and really puts Warwickshire on the map as a destination to develop a career in this fast-moving industry."

Sarah Windrum, CEO of Leamington-based IT and communications company the Emerald Group, and chair of the CWLEP’s Digital Creative Business Group, said: “The festival will be a fantastic opportunity to hear from leading experts in an industry which goes from strength to strength."

And leader of the district council Cllr Andrew Mobbs added: “Hosting this unique event in Leamington is a watershed moment for our district.

"Our ‘Silicon Spa’ games cluster is already the third largest in the UK and this is a wonderful opportunity to promote further our presence and expertise in such a crucial sector."

Tickets can be bought here