In the Premier League era of English football, Manchester has been the dominant force, with United and City making the Greater Manchester metropolis famous for the sport.
Now, however, there’s a relatively new scene emerging across the UK, which Manchester looks to position itself at the forefront of.
The gaming industry has been around for decades, but it’s only over the last ten to 15 years that it has become a true goliath. It’s now the most valuable entertainment medium globally, connecting to people via computers, consoles, and smartphones, with more and more companies piling into the action each year. Manchester’s gaming scene has been bustling for a long time, and it too continues to expand.
Looking to bring the top talents of the UK to the northern city, BGFC will be further contributing to Manchester’s momentum, continually growing into a digital hub of the UK. Already, it seems, as far as gaming hubs in the UK go, there’s certainly a lot about Manchester which suggests that ‘Cottonopolis’ is already a national leader for everything gaming.
Going out to enjoy the gaming culture of Manchester
The city boasts a diverse gaming community which goes much further than there just being a console or gaming PC in several homes. Thanks to the incredibly high demand, Manchester has become a hot spot for gaming bars and games venues, used as the centrepiece of a night out. The retro games-laden Hold Fast, NQ64, and secret 80s arcade bar 17 Below offer game-centric ways to socialise at the bar. It’s not just the more classic titles and arcade machines that have been introduced to Manchester, though, with the less-night out experience venue of Virtual Hideout making its mark. Standing as the city’s virtual reality gaming centre, there is a website with mobile slots free spins, over 100 games to experience as a single player or in a team of up to four people.
Manchester is becoming increasingly tied to perhaps the most famous gaming destination in the world: Las Vegas. Most recently, one of the city’s start-up companies, Gamer Wager, signed into a joint venture with SCCG Management of Nevada, who will utilise their peer-to-peer game wagering tech in the United States. Coming the other way, of course, the games that Las Vegas is famous for have found a vibrant audience in Manchester. While not in the form of a towering themed casino, the online library at VegasSlotsOnline contains all of the top slots from Sin City. The likes of 50 Lions, Triple Diamond, and Bier Haus continue to be the most popular of the Vegas selection. With these games available online, gaming in-person in a Vegas-like setting is also available, with Manchester235 being a part of the Caesars Rewards programme.
Giving a grand stage to gaming in Manchester
In the United States, annual conventions have become incredibly popular across entertainment mediums that were once considered niche. Comic-Con, for example, is a major driver of the comic industry and have morphed into a geek national holiday of sorts. Manchester has long sought to give gaming such a stage, with efforts proving to be very popular. In 2019, the Manchester Gaming Market presented attendees and collectors with a huge range of retro video games and consoles to snap up. On a much larger, more modern scale, there’s also the epic Play Expo event. The city’s crown jewel of annual gaming events shall return on 8 and 9 May in 2021, with over 1000 gaming hardware units set to be available across the show floor.
The gaming business of Manchester
For anywhere in the UK to truly be hailed as a gaming hub, it needs to corral the nation’s creative force to the area. BGFG, the business behind WePC, PC Guide, Esports Verdict, and Gaming Verdict, continues to expand and offer more reasons for savvy gaming professionals to come up north. Aiming to facilitate such moves is Gameopolis, whose sole purpose is to network and promote links between the video games industry and Manchester. On the development side of the industry, the city is also home to mobile-facing devs Smashmouth Games, as well as the indie creators of The Lost Bear and The Persistence, Fabrik Games. Then, there’re the steps to further promote the ever-growing eSports scene, with Manchester United and City having eSports teams set-up, and Manchester University running several programmes and events.
Manchester has a tremendous amount of momentum right now, from the population’s overall interest in gaming to businesses looking to establish the city in the industry at large. As more companies like BGFG make positive moves to increase the allure of Manchester in gaming, it’ll grow further as the nation’s games hub.
Man arrested after Stockport homes were evacuated due to ‘suspected hazardous materials’
A man has been arrested after the discovery of “suspected hazardous materials” led to several homes being evacuated in Stockport.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) explained that the discovery of the so-called “suspected hazardous materials” was made by police yesterday (Thursday 1 June) during a search of a property on Middleton Road in the Reddish area of Stockport.
Officers attended the property in response to intelligence about the manufacturing of illegal fireworks.
No injuries have been reported following the discovery, GMP confirmed, and a 100-metre cordon is currently believed to still be in place around the area.
Residents of the several homes that were asked to evacuate yesterday have been relocated, either to the homes of their family and friends, or directed by Stockport Council to Houldsworth Village and Broadstone Road if they had no alternative accommodation.
The residents were told by GMP that, although they would be kept regularly updated, it was “unlikely they will be able to return home,” yesterday evening.
Following the discovery, GMP declared a major incident and instructed specially-trained representatives from relevant agencies to conduct the “timely and safe recovery” of the hazardous materials, all while asking members of the public to “avoid the area” so this could be carried out.
The arrested suspect, a 50-year-old man, is currently being held in police custody under Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act.
“We understand this news will have caused some concern in the community, not just amongst the residents who have unfortunately been displaced,” Chief Inspector Jamie Collins admitted in a statement addressing the ongoing situation yesterday.
“Our highest priority is keeping people safe, which is why we have put a cordon in place, evacuated properties, and warned members of the public to avoid the area.
With it being the first time the two Manchester clubs have battled it out for the trophy in the final in the 151-year-old football competition’s illustrious history, tens of thousands of fans are expected to make the journey down to the capital.
But with this influx of excitable rival fans, admittedly, comes a set of challenges.
This is why The FA and TfGM have decided to introduce some measures, and issue travel tips and guidance, in a bid to make sure everyone stays safe, while still soaking in all the atmosphere of the historic day at the same time.
Due to what TfGM has called “significant” coordinated strike action by rail unions RMT and Aslef on Saturday, all supporters heading to the FA Cup final are advised to avoid trains and “consider alternative travel arrangements” instead – making sure to allow “additional time for travel” and planning their journeys “ahead of time”.
Fans are also being asked to check the road network carefully, as it’s also highly likely that traditional routes to Wembley will be “busier than normal” as a result of rail strikes.
The FA has confirmed that it will be providing 60 coaches for both Manchester clubs to help supporters get to Wembley and return to Manchester once the game has finished, but aside from this, TfGM has suggested that “anyone without an official match ticket should not travel to the game”.
The two Manchester clubs have been advised to encourage fans to use separate travel routes to each other to avoid clashes, and a list of service stations for each team has now also been published – confirming all the rumours to be true.
Allocation of motorway service stations
Manchester City supporters
Manchester United supporters
When it comes to the travel routes supporters of each team are advised to take, TfGM is urging Manchester City fans to take the M62/M1 as the first port of call, or taking the M6/M1 or M6/M6 Toll/M1 as a back-up option.
Manchester United supporters are encouraged to take the M6/M42/M40.
On top of information on travel routes and service station allocations, TfGM has also shared tips for matchday parking, tube travel around London, and more.