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Minecraft Boris Johnson announces 1.2m fund to promote games in London

London Games Festival detailed.

London mayor Boris Johnson has announced Games London, a 1.2m programme to promote games and games development in the capital.

The scheme was unveiled via an in-game press conference, held within Minecraft by London's mayor. Yes, really.

Games London is the work of Film London and trade body Ukie, with support from the video game tax relief fund that was finally granted in 2014.

Training and skills initiatives will be offered to developers, as well as an extra emphasis on promoting London as a place for games companies to invest.

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Well, have I got news for you.

Perhaps most publicly, the London Games Festival will take place each April in the capital, as an umbrella for new and existing events.

Chief among these will be the annual BAFTA Games Awards, and also EGX Rezzed (which, for full disclosure, is run by the same company that owns this very website).

Other things will include a programme of talks at the BFI Southbank and the Now Play This games event at Somerset House.

"London is already a star player when it comes to games and interactive entertainment, but international competition is fierce and we need to ensure our city can compete with our global gaming rivals," digital Boris Johnson said.

"Through Games London we are supercharging an increasingly important sector for our economy, one that exemplifies the capital's reputation for creativity and innovation. From design to banking and civil engineering to film, games technology is being used in a host of different sectors."

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