Westminster Media Forum

UK Video Games Sector - global competitiveness, consumer protection, and sustainable sector growth

Morning, Thursday, 5th March 2020

Central London


This timely seminar will consider key issues for the UK video games sector - with sessions discussing future growth, consumer protection, and priorities for policy and regulation.

Delegates will assess the UK’s position in the global video games sector.

They will consider what more is needed to sustain development and growth, with the UK games industry now accounting for over half of the domestic entertainment market.

The agenda will also bring out latest thinking on the way business models are adapting as consumption patterns shift away from ownership towards access.

It comes with both Microsoft and Google set to launch game streaming services later this year.

We expect discussion on what more could be done to support R&D and innovation across the sector, with ever-increasing competition for audiences.

Delegates will also consider what more needs to be done to enable SMEs involved in the video games sector - across the UK - to compete globally, looking at access to funding and other resources, and facilitating sector collaboration.

Further sessions assess the key priorities for meeting the sector’s skills demands.

It follows the recent announcement from the Home Office that the shortage of occupation list is to be expanded to include a number of video games industry-specific roles.

We expect discussion on progress in addressing the UK’s digital skills gap and - following a Culture is Digital update from government - the effectiveness of current sector initiatives to improve gender and BAME representation, as well as what more needs to be done to develop and attract new talent.

Further sessions examine key issues for consumer protection, including what more is required - from policy, regulation, and the games sector itself - to keep users safe.

Delegates will consider the issues in the context of the focus on industry responsibility in the Online Harms White Paper - which outlines the Government’s plans to improve consumer safety online.

As the Government looks to make companies more accountable through its proposed legal duty of care, delegates will discuss its impact on the industry, its partners, and its customers and what further action might be needed.

They will also assess the effectiveness of current industry measures to reduce access to inappropriate content and keep consumers safe - including parental controls, moderators, and age ratings.

The agenda also looks at relevant developments in public health policy.

It comes with the World Health Organisation including Gaming Disorder in its international classification of diseases list.

Delegates will assess the scale of the problem, and concerns around the limited research base that currently exists and the role of games companies in supporting further research by enabling access to player data.

Taking place following the implementation of the ICO’s Age appropriate design code, delegates will consider the likely impact the list of design standards will have on future game product offerings.

With the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s recent report on Immersive and addictive technologies recommending that video game loot boxes be regulated under the Gambling Act, attendees will examine concerns around the links between gaming and gambling.

It comes as a study by the Safer Online Gambling Group found that young people in the UK are spending £270m a year in total on in-app purchases and video game add-ons.

Delegates will have an opportunity to hear directly from the Gambling Commission regarding what future regulation and monitoring is required.

Keynote Speaker

Steve Wood

Executive Director - Regulatory Strategy, Information Commissioner’s Office

Keynote Speakers

Brad Enright

Programme Director, Regulatory Framework and Outcomes, Gambling Commission

Victoria MacCallum

Deputy Director, Creative Industries, DCMS

Steve Wood

Executive Director - Regulatory Strategy, Information Commissioner’s Office


Alex Sobel MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Video Games and Esports


Brad Enright

Programme Director, Regulatory Framework and Outcomes, Gambling Commission

Nick Nocton

Partner, Mishcon de Reya

Dr Jo Twist

Chief Executive Officer, UKIE

Marie-Claire Isaaman

Chief Executive Officer, Women in Games