London Venture Partners’ cofounder takes on new BAFTA role as charity renews commitment to games
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced today that David Gardner OBE has been appointed its first Vice President for Games.
David Gardner, general partner and cofounder of London Venture Partners, will join Barbara Broccoli OBE – Vice President for Film – and Greg Dyke – Vice President for Television – in supporting the organisation’s President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, as well as assuming an ambassadorial role for the charity across the games industry and co-chairing BAFTA’s Council. BAFTA can appoint up to three Vice Presidents, one in each of the three sectors of film, television and games, who can serve a term of up to six years.
In his role as Vice President, David Gardner will be instrumental in advancing BAFTA’s Global Games Strategy, the organisation’s renewed commitment to growing its global games membership and significance across the global industry as BAFTA continues to evolve its international impact.
With the aim of engaging industry professionals, influential Games craftsmen and craftswomen across the globe, the Global Games Strategy will see increased activity in the US, including a presence at GDC and E3, an enhanced events programme focussed on cross-sector debate and provide more content to Global Games members across different platforms such as Twitch. The overall objective is to establish the world’s most influential group of Games craftspeople to promote the sector as a creative medium and to support the next generation of creative practitioners.
David Gardner said: "BAFTA is a fabulous organisation that helps advance the art of gaming, film and television. It is unique in that it brings so many storytelling mediums together, and has established itself as a globally recognised charity for peer review, advancement and education. I view my role as helping to expand the game industry's participation in this tradition and look forward to the breakthroughs that will follow from sharing our craft."
David Gardner’s first exposure to computer games came in 1977 at age 12 when he purchased an early Apple II personal computer from the proceeds of his earnings from delivering newspapers.
As an early industry ‘whizz kid’, he started to focus on programming at a DEC PDP-11 OEM and then at a computer retail store where he learned sales and training skills. He soon found that incredible growth and employment opportunities in the world of computers motivated him to finish school two years early. At the age of 17, he accepted a job as one of the first 11 employees of Electronic Arts (EA), a startup games company founded by Trip Hawkins in Silicon Valley.
Gardner worked in various positions at Electronic Arts in California for five years before relocating to London, where he was asked to start researching the requirement of establishing EA’s first international office. He first ran the European Sales & Marketing functions and was promoted to Managing Director in 1992.
In 2004, Gardner returned to EA’s global headquarters in California to become EVP of EA’s international publishing business and later COO and EVP of Worldwide Studios.
Gardner was awarded an OBE in June 2007 by Her Majesty the Queen for his service to British business in America.
In late 2007, Gardner returned to London and became CEO and Board Member of Atari S.A., a publicly traded company on the Paris/Euronext exchange. As CEO Gardner led the restructuring of the company and began rebuilding with online as its core focus, using the famous Atari gaming brand.
Gardner left the board of Atari in April 2010 and began work with the other General Partners to form London Venture Partners (LVP). LVP is focused on investments with early stage seed capital in the game ecosystem. Fund and pre-fund investments include Unity, Supercell, Natural Motion, Peak.net, Boomlagoon, Playraven, Winko & Playfield.io.
For further information, please contact:
Eleanor Pickering at BAFTA
T +44 (0) 20 7292 5863
E [email protected]
Nick Williams at BAFTA
T +44 (0) 20 7292 5847
E [email protected]
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.