This new focus will certainly help to build on the success of the accreditation scheme already piloted by Skillset and backed by the games industry, and we welcome the increased commitment to new skills initiatives shown by the government and look forward to working with them to ensure that industry’s needs are met.
However, raising the level of skills in the workforce alone does not address all the issues facing the UK development community.
From an industry standpoint, an increasingly concerning issue for us to address is that UK development community is losing its competitive position in global gaming and in the main this can be attributed to the fact that other territories are offering very attractive investment propositions.
For example, in Montreal, the Quebec games subsidy means studios can claim up to 37.5% of their creative staff’s salaries after a year of business – there’s even a possible 40% tax credit for R&D and other credits for major employment-generating projects.
This has helped the rapid growth of the Canadian development scene and the movement of some UK talent to other shores. Wouldn’t it be great for the UK games industry to receive comparable incentives? In the UK we certainly have the talent pool which could drive the global games business; we just need a level playing field and favorable economic conditions.
This increasing challenge to the UK Development community cannot be underestimated as newly emerging development studios in Asia, particularly in China and India, also compete for investment and potentially put the UK in an untenable position. It would be a shame for the UK to see the highly trained, talented workforce that industry and education has done so much to develop being attracted to work outside of the UK.