English actor and director Andy Serkis, known for his roles in the Lord of the Rings and King Kong films, will launch Games Eden, a new video game industry network in the East of England region.
Serkis, who most recently performed motion capture acting in Ninja Theory's Heavenly Sword, will spearhead the new network, which aims to promote, support and develop the regionâ€™s digital games entertainment community.
According to the announcement, companies based at the East of England game development community hub in Cambridge employ about 600 staff alone, responsible for titles like Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Kung Fu Chaos, 24: The Game, MediEvil, GhostHunter and GoldenEye 007.
The network hopes to stimulate electronic creativity and business development through an internationally focused website and a program of networking events for those involved in the industry across the region, including membership of TIGA.
Games Eden will be funded over the next two years by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), East of England International (EEI), Screen East and FDMX. It is supported by a steering committee with representatives from Cambridge Wireless, TiGA, EMMA, Gameware Development, Zoonami, Geomerics, Sony, Jagex, Nicetech and Ninja Theory.
David Marlow, chief executive of the East of England Development Agency, said, â€śThe computer games industry is a key element of the East of Englandâ€™s growing creative industries sector. It is vital we help to support and develop it if we are to continue to grow the regional economy in future years. Many businesses within the region are significant international players and we believe that specialized support for the sector, through a dedicated network, will create further success.â€ť