Supporting Video Game Innovation in Dundee

Dundee has been called the videogame capital of Europe, and its successes with digital interactive entertainment are well-known throughout the world. In 1987 the games developer DMA Design was founded in Dundee – today they are known as Rockstar North, and the latest iteration of their flagship franchise, Grand Theft Auto, has made over $6 billion since its release in 2013. There are several dozen developers in the city, from start-ups to established brands, making Dundee a world player in a $200 billion-plus industry.

The original DMA Design team in 2011. Image via Steve Hammond.

In 2018, St Andrews’ Institute for Capitalising on Creativity secured £5 million in funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a collaborative project on Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise (InGame). InGame is a 5-year creative research and development project, aiming to increase the scale and value of the video games sector in Dundee and surrounding areas, with the intent to create a model for UK-wide innovation in the sector. InGame has a network of partners, including the Universities of Abertay and Dundee, funding bodies, and local and international game developer and service delivery organisations. The St Andrews team focus on sustainable creative industries, collaborative processes and entrepreneurial start-up and growth, and include Drs Shiona Chillas and Jasmin Hinds, Professors Paul Hibbert and Ross Brown, and Melinda Grewar. Dr Shiona Chillas and Professor Paul Hibbert are Co-Directors of the grant, and sit on the Management Group and Steering Board.

As part of InGame, the St Andrews cohort collaborate with a wide range of commercial, government and third sector partners, including Beano Studios, the BBC, Microsoft, Interactive Entertainment Europe, V&A Dundee, Ukie and Women in Games. InGAME provides a proven model for, and practical experience in, supporting collaborative R&D between HEIs and industry. The St Andrews team contributes to collaborative research and development projects with partner organizations that help to drive their growth, as well as developing specific research on the economic impact of the cluster, equality issues and collaborative processes.

InGame is supported by the Institute for Capitalising on Creativity at St Andrews, who aim to inform intelligent practice, analysing the foundations that sustain the creative industries. They research collaboratively with partners in academia, creative practice, policy, and service provision, and develop national and international links to access comparative and global perspectives on their work. Read more about the ICC here.