Grand Theft Auto creator says ‘no limit’ to Dundee gaming industry

Dave Jones, creator of the original Grand Theft Auto

The Dundee-born creator of Grand Theft Auto says there is “no limit” to what the city’s games industry can achieve.

Dave Jones, who launched the classic title two decades ago this year, will discuss the game’s cultural legacy as part of a panel at Abertay University later this month.

The event will mark the finale of a year-long programme of celebrations to recognise 20 years of gaming, with experts looking back at key achievements in the industry.

It also marks the anniversary of the world’s first degree in computer games, launched at Abertay in 1997.

Despite the exponential growth of the industry since then, Mr Jones, whose Reagent studio is still based in Dundee, believes there is unlimited potential as new markets emerge.

“Games touch everybody’s lives and even though we’ve been doing it for what seems like a lifetime I still think we are in the very early days – particularly in terms of technology,” he said.

“We like to think we create these stylised virtual worlds, but in some ways we are still in the stone-age and the limitations of technology can block the ideas we have.”

© Supplied
A screenshot from the original version of Grand Theft Auto


Mr Jones said he believed there was no limit to what can be achieved in the sector and praised the “nucleus” model that has proved the blend for success in his native Dundee.

“In Dundee, it’s the network effect of everybody knowing one another over the years,” he said.

“It’s having that nucleus of a combination of experienced industry people, strong academia and support from local enterprise.

“I travel to a lot of other countries and I’ve never seen anything yet that I thought we couldn’t do in Dundee.”

The free Abertay University finale panel – titled Next Level: A Conversation on the Future of Games – will also feature chief executive of Ukie Jo Twist, chief executive of Playmob Jude Ower, industry journalist Will Freeman and computer arts lecturer Lynn Parker.

In addition to GTA and future technologies, an array of other topics are on the discussion agenda including creative industries funding, media relationships, games education and new business models.

The event is free to attend and will be held at Abertay University on November 25.

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