Scottish gaming industry on ’30 year journey’, says tech entrepreneur Van der Kuyl
The games industry in SCOTLAND is still creating a “truly indigenous sector,” according to tech entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl.
The Dundee-based gaming veteran speaking on the Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey yesterday, credited Sir Clive Sinclair, who died earlier this month, for opening up affordable access to computers to a generation of game developers today.
Mr. Van der Kuyl, co-founder and president of game developer 4J Studios, best known for adapting the hit game Minecraft for a multitude of different consoles, said: “Without Clive Sinclair, many of us in the The gaming industry wouldn’t be there – Dundee Today there are more game developers per capita than anywhere on Earth.
The city, of course, has become the birthplace of Grand Theft Auto, one of the best-selling video games of all time. And today, the games industry is bigger in terms of revenue than all other segments of the entertainment industry combined, he noted.
Mr. Van der Kuyl described Sinclair, the creator of the ZX80, the UK’s first mainstream home computer, followed by the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum, in the early 1980s, as “Elon Musk of today” , recalling how Sir Clive brought the manufacture of the ZX Spectrum to the Timex factory in Dundee.
Mr Van der Kuyl, who studied computer science at the University of Edinburgh, recalled how a visit to Silicon Valley in San Francisco had made him decide to start his own tech company in Scotland.
Mr Van der Kuyl said his Polish and Dutch ancestors opened him up to always ‘looking outward’ and striving to be an entrepreneur.
He started 4J Studios with his school friend Paddy Burns – 4J is a reference to Dundee’s famous ‘jute, jam and journalism’ nickname with controllers depicting the fourth ‘J’ – in 2005.
The games industry in Scotland, he said, had started to develop in the last decade, but it is the next decade when the huge economic benefit will come.
“It really is a 30 year journey if you really want to build an indigenous sector and it is important that there are companies that give money back to shareholders in Scotland as well as money that goes back to New York. . ”