Friday 10th August/...ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, today backed comments from Jane Cavanagh OBE, Chief Executive of Eidos, the British games publishing company, who believes that the games industry is "not being taken seriously" by UK Government.
The UK video and computer games industry employees around 22,000 and as a major contributor to UK PLC its strengths of IP development, creative output and technological excellence meant the UK has been ranked number three in the world. It recently fell back to fourth behind Canada, the US and Japan as one of the world's creative development and publishing superpowers, continuing a trend for job export and overseas investment at the expense of British industry and jobs.
At the same time, Eidos has announced the launch of its new Canadian studio in Montreal, creating 350 new jobs. Eidos has been given support to establish a studio in Quebec.
“Quebec offers a 37.5 per cent contribution towards development salaries, which is a huge incentive," Cavanagh told games industry trade paper, MCV.“Over the years, people have tried lobby for this sort of funding in the UK– in line with the perks given to UK film studios– and the result has been pretty much nil. It seems that this industry is not being taken seriously: not only in terms of retaining talent, but for foreign companies to come in and create a pool of talent.”
ELSPA Director General Paul Jackson said: "Jane's comments reflect the very serious position the industry finds itself in. ELSPA has been engaging with the new Brown government on this issue via the DCMS and DEBRR. Our impression is that government understand that there is a serious problem here and we have been invited back to discuss the issue further. However we are wary that historically government has never really given us the support we require when compared with other industries in our sector. It is therefore up to this new administration to reverse the failings of the past and fully support the games industry at this difficult time.”
The UK games business is currently a net exporter and produces some of the world's leading games developers and producers. It receives no support in any form from public funds, unlike the facilities and handouts available to other industries such as film.
About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com
ELSPA (The Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.
For further information on ELSPA or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Tel: 01462 456780
Fax: 01462 456781
Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper’s Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW