French to help promote London as a development hub and grow the city's games business

Develop publisher Michael French departing for UKIE/Film London

MCV publisher Michael French is to leave his post on September 18th for a new role with UKIE and Film London.

He’ll lead a major new initiative, backed by the Mayor’s Office, designed to promote London as a world-leading games destination.

French has worked at NewBay Media (formerly Intent Media) for 12 years in total across two tenures, starting as an editorial assistant on MCV. He has served as editor of Develop, editor-in-chief of MCV and Develop, and most recently publisher of the games division for two years.

In his new role, French will lead a programme designed to grow the games business in the UK capital. It will include strands across B2B and consumer events plus cultural activity. A fuller announcement of the plan – a joint initiative between UKIE and Film London, backed by the Greater London Authority – is expected next month.

“It’s not easy to step away from MCV and Develop, the great brands and teams I’ve helped build in the last decade. But the opportunity with UKIE and Film London is just impossible to turn down,” he said. “An exciting and ambitious plan is in place to grow the stature of the UK games business via London, I can’t wait to get started on it.”

UKIE chair Andy Payne added: “I have the utmost respect for Michael and am really looking forward to working closely with him to establish London as a global digital capital.”

Speaking about the project to bolster the games market in London, Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “This is an exciting time for Film London, UKIE and the Mayor of London, as we forge ahead with our partnership to make London one of the world’s most exciting centres for Games production.”

UKIE CEO Jo Twist added: “This is a fantastic initiative and we look forward to working closely with Michael to deliver a truly exciting programme of activity.”

French starts his new role on September 21st.

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