A former producer for the global best-selling video game Grand Theft Auto has joined a leading Scottish accountancy firm’s tech advisory board.

Colin Macdonald will help advise Johnston Carmichael’s clients on how to grow in the highly competitive international digital tech sector.

His expertise will help the games sector, which is worth over £300m in Scotland, supporting 6,400 jobs and comprising 11 per cent of the UK’s developer headcount.

It is also home to globally recognised brands like Rockstar and 4J Studios, and their franchises Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft.

Colin, a previous Channel 4 Games Commissioner, said: “I’m genuinely excited to be joining the Johnston Carmichael Tech Advisory Board.

“The Scottish games industry has achieved so much, and we’ve got so much great talent here, but a lot of that has been done in isolation. 

“Creatively and technically, we are second to none but it’s the entrepreneurial and commercial side that we can support with.

“This Tech Advisory Board will be really key in reaching out to the games and wider tech industry to help join the dots, as our group know the value and scale of games, and how to work with these businesses as they continue to grow.

“We’ve already seen from the success of Grand Theft Auto that we can produce some of the best and most sought after games and we want to help play our part in supporting the industry as it seeks to produce the next big hit game.”

Macdonald, originally from Dundee, was a producer of games such as Lemmings and Prince of Persia, and the early games of the global entertainment phenomenon Grand Theft Auto.  

He then co-founded Realtime Worlds where he helped raise over $100m in investment, and oversaw development of the multi-million selling BAFTA-winning game Crackdown, as well as online game All Points Bulletin.

He was later appointed as Channel 4’s first ever Television Games Commissioner, and commissioned dozens of games, which amassed millions of downloads and won BAFTA and Digital Emmy Awards. 

He also served nine years on the governing board of Abertay University, and is currently head of indie publisher Indie Champions, commercial director to Rivet Games and an advisor to the UK Government’s UK Games Fund.

Shaun Millican, partner and head of technology and life Sciences at Johnston Carmichael, said: “We’re extremely proud Colin has joined our Tech Advisory Board, and his huge experience in the gaming field will be a real boost to our clients across gaming and the wider tech sector.

“The challenges faced by the gaming industry are very similar to those faced by our other tech clients, so Colin’s deep knowledge will be incredibly valuable to growing our in-house team’s expertise and helping the companies we advise.

“Gaming founders are very passionate about creating stimulating and creative games, but are likely to benefit from specialist advice when it comes to scaling up and commercialising their products.  

“Whether it is accessing tax reliefs, or securing investment, we want to ensure gaming creatives have access to the help required to develop their company, so that they can focus more on what they do best, and that’s create world class games.”