AS the United Kingdom looks to bounce back economically following the struggles of the Covid-19 pandemic, central to the West Midland’s plans is the gaming industry.
From retro arcade games through to iGaming and eSports, the West Midlands has a rich history as a gaming hub and has already put in place ambitious plans to grow over the coming decade into a dominant force in the industry.
The Foundations of Gaming in the West Midlands
Take a walk around Birmingham or any other city in West Midlands, and you’ll be hard-pressed to go long without seeing an arcade machine or retro game station.
While games like Time Crisis and Mario Kart have fallen out of vogue in the United Kingdom over the last 20 years, many of them have remained entertainment staples in the West Midlands.
Retro computer fairs are a regular occurrence across the region, with a generation simply refusing to let go of their favourite pastime.
Events such as Retro Revival and the Retro Arcade gaming museum have preserved the strong gaming roots of the West Midlands.
So rich is the gaming history of the region, that when Steven Spielberg was looking for a location to shoot the blockbuster film Ready Player One, the West Midlands came to mind.
Now, several iconic scenes from around Birmingham can be seen on the big screen.
From Fun to Employment through iGaming
While gaming has long been part of West Midland’s history, only recently has it become part of the region’s livelihood as well.
With more than 20,000 employees across the West Midlands in the casino and iGaming industries, the commercial side of gaming has well and truly reaped benefits for the region.
Several large bookmakers have their headquarters locally and provide significant employment. Stoke alone has over 4,500 gambling employees.
Jobs in the iGaming and casino space are becoming more and more quality, with the role of tech increasing in the industry.
For example, the best casino bonuses found at casinohawks.com are designed and implemented by qualified software engineers and require the employment of highly-skilled staff to maintain, which makes you able to enjoy them.
Looking Ahead to eSports Dominance
With the growth in the iGaming sector, the West Midlands is looking ahead to further grow employment in the region.
Birmingham has already made big moves to establish its name in the United Kingdom and bring economic stimulation to the region, with the recent Commonwealth Games held in the city this year.
The event brought significant economic benefit, however, residents will be eager for longer-lasting growth as well.
The answer could well lie in the rapidly developing eSports space, where a rise in popularity over the last decade has brought economic opportunity.
Recently, the West Midlands Growth Company signed a ten-year deal with the Global Esports Federation, agreeing to make the region an epicentre for British eSports.
Fuelled by the pandemic, eSports is now a billion-pound industry, with top players being treated like athletes, performing in front of thousands of adoring fans.
With such growth, chances are the West Midlands will continue to be at the forefront of gaming for a long time to come.