Government 'Asleep at Wheel' on Games Industry Support

Article excerpt

Byline: Alistair Houghton

VIDEO games trade association TIGA says the Government must give more support to the UK's video games sector, to prevent it from falling further behind its rivals.

Industry publication Develop says the Canadian games development workforce has now exceeded that in the UK, meaning Canada is now the third-largest developer of video games in the world.

TIGA says Canada's industry has grown because the government there offers the sector tax breaks - and it says similar measures could help the UK economy.

The previous Government had planned to introduce tax relief for video games companies, but Chancellor George Osborne said in June that the coalition government would not go ahead with the "poorly- targeted" plan.

The move disappointed developers in Merseyside, where leading developers Sony and Bizarre Creations employ hundreds of people and where many smaller firms have set up shop.

TIGA chief executive Dr Richard Wilson said: "UK politicians have been asleep at the wheel while the Canadian video games industry has soared in numbers and the UK development workforce has declined.

"There was nothing inevitable about this process. Canadian policy makers simply took the farsighted decision to create an attractive environment to do games business, in particular, through the provision of generous tax breaks. …