Enable the UK to Create More Triple A Video Games

5 September 2011

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, said today that the release of Ubisoft Reflection’s video game DRIVER ® SAN FRANCISCO demonstrated that the UK could develop Triple A video games, but that the ability to do so in the future would depend to an important extent on favourable Government support.

Developed by Ubisoft Reflections in Newcastle (the creators of the original Driver title), DRIVER SAN FRANCISCO marks the return of the established action driving video game series that has sold over 14 million copies worldwide. Gamers take the role of John Tanner, a hardened detective involved in a relentless manhunt throughout the City by the Bay, with the game providinga free-roaming, classic, cinematic car chase experience.

The development of Triple A video game titles requires significant financial resources and highly skilled development teams - a typical Triple A title could have a development budget in excess of £20 million. Ubisoft Reflections has employed a highly qualified team of over 200 development staff, most of whom are qualified to degree level in disciplines including computer science, mathematics, art and design; some of the development team are even qualified to Ph.D level.

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:

“The release of Driver San Francisco shows that the UK has a highly talented and qualified games development workforce that has the ability to develop Triple A video games. Everyone in the UK video games industry will want to congratulate Ubisoft Reflections on completing the game and wish them commercial success.

“However, the UK’s ability to develop Triple A video games in the future is questionable, given the uneven playing field that the UK games industry is competing upon. Games that require considerable development costs will naturally be commissioned in countries with the right skills and tax base. While the UK has the skills base, our tax environment is not favourable. Our key competitors benefit from tax breaks for games production. The UK does not.”

Gareth Edmondson, TIGA Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Ubisoft Reflections, said:

“The UK still has the potential to create more Triple A video games like DRIVER SAN FRANCISCO. Our experience at Ubisoft Reflections shows that we have a talented workforce, one of the best in the world. However, we could be making more Triple A games and creating more highly skilled jobs in locations such as Newcastle if we had a tax break for games production. TIGA will continue to advance the case for Games Tax Relief and improved R&D tax credits to enable the UK video games development sector to achieve its potential.”



Notes to editors:

About TIGA:

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded ‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the ‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010.  In 2011, TIGA won a further four awards at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards, including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ for the second consecutive year.  TIGA has been voted a finalist in the CMI Management and Leadership Awards 2011 in the ‘Outstanding Organisation (SME)’ category. Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, has been voted a finalist in the ‘Outstanding Leader’ category.  TIGA was also  named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of ‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’. TIGA is an ‘Investors in People’ accredited organisation.

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry.  Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. Our mission is to fight for the interests of game developers. To achieve our vision and mission we focus on the delivery of three strategic objectives: effective political representation, profile raising and helping our members commercially. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email richard.wilson@tiga.org  

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