Diaries at the ready: London Games Festival is announcing its 2020 dates as it gears up for another year of celebrating games and interactive entertainment.

This year, the festival welcomed over 97,000 people to 40 different events across London from experimental exhibition Now Play This at Somerset House to the free Trafalgar Square Games Festival. 

For 2020, the LGF team hopes to welcome more than 100,000 people who are keen to take part in one of the world’s biggest games events from March 26 to April 6.

The success of LGF is helped by backing from the Mayor of London, who committed £1.2 million over three years as part of a mission to make London the games capital of the world. The festival is delivered by Games London, an initiative from the capital’s screen industries agency Film London, in partnership with the association for UK Interactive Entertainment, Ukie. 

Speaking about the announcement of the new dates, Justine Simons OBE, deputy mayor for culture and creative industries, said: “London’s thriving games industry is a real success story, bringing significant investment and jobs to our capital. The London Games Festival is a fantastic showcase for this cutting-edge sector, helping to drive business and share skills. I’m delighted that 2020’s event will be the biggest and best yet.”

Planned events for the 2020 festival include the return of EGX Rezzed, one of the biggest PC and indie games shows at the Tobacco Dock; Ensemble, an annual exhibition focusing on people from black, minority and ethnic (BAME) backgrounds who work in games; the Games Finance Market, which brings together major investors and games businesses in the UK. Also on the agenda will be the annual BAFTA Games Awards, one of the most prestigious gaming awards events. 

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The free Trafalgar Square games festival is a highlight in the LGF calendar (London Games Festival)

The Games Finance Market is a particularly important event for companies to attend – last year’s festival events generated business wins of over £25 million for participating companies. The festival hopes to expand on this figure next year. Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, is particularly excited about the economic impact the festival brings.

“By continuing to connect the best and brightest talent and set to enable major new business opportunities, this year’s festival seeks to cement its central position as the premier showcase for all aspects of games, reflecting the terrific success of the UK industry, which contributes nearly £3bn into the economy. We are thrilled to celebrate this success,” said Wootton. 

Let’s not forget the creative opportunities the festival offers too, something Ukie’s CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE is keen to celebrate. “The London Games Festival continues to grow and is a fantastic opportunity for all ages to celebrate the creativity and innovation of the games and interactive entertainment industry. London is one of the epicentres of games talent in the UK and continuing to attract international attention to these businesses is key,” she said. 

And if you’re in the games industry and are keen to get involved, applications are now open for developers and industry professionals to take part at gfm.games.london. If you’re able to offer expertise to games companies during the festival, get in touch info@games.london for more information. In addition, if you identify as BAME and work in the industry, or want to nominate someone who is for Ensemble, the information is at games.london/ensemble2020

The Evening Standard is the official media partner of the London Games Festival

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