UK trade body TIGA
will soon allow individuals to join its ranks, where previously it only admitted game development studios and institutions. It will launch this new initiative in Autumn 2010, and any person working on or with the industry in the UK may join.
This includes freelancers, contractors, students and industry service providers -- TIGA says it's expanding its membership offering to support developers on all levels "to fulfill their career ambitions."
"Individual membership will provide access to a range of benefits, focusing on three core areas - career development; material benefits; and networking opportunities," explains TIGA CEO Richard Wilson. "We intend to support the next wave of creative individuals and successful interactive companies in the UK. Further details will be announced when the service launches later this year."
According to Wilson, TIGA membership has now reached over 160 companies, from independents and start-ups to publisher-owned studios, international publishers and universities.
"Individual membership will broaden our reach even further, meaning that anyone working in the games industry or trying to start a career in the games industry can benefit from TIGA services," he adds.
Specifically, individual members will be able to get TIGA's retail, events and software discounts, to attend networking events, and gain career advice and informational resources from TIGA's online service and members' newsletters, putting the UK-specific organization in possible competition with other worldwide industry groups such as the IGDA.
Wilson specifies that TIGA has not shifted its focus from its corporate members: "TIGA’s commitment to serve the interests of our business and of our education members remains absolute," he says. "Over the coming months we will unveil a variety of additional services to meet the needs of our corporate/organisational members still more effectively."