The Conservative Party this afternoon launched its biggest attack yet on the Government for its treatment of the UK games industry.
Speaking at London Games Conference at BAFTA, Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey told a packed room that a Tory Government would extend the remit of the Film Council to cover the video games sector – to give the industry the “voice it deserves”.
He slammed Labour Ministers for “failing to care” that the UK industry – particularly the development sector - was falling behind other nations in terms of economic generation.
Vaizey cited research from NESTA which suggested the UK video games sector could shrink by 16.5 per cent over five years, resulting in the loss of more than £180m in external investment and nearly 1,700 jobs.
“As in so many other areas, Labour ministers simply do not seem to care that we are falling behind our competitors in a critically important economic growth area,” Vaizey told the crowd.
“Gordon Brown’s economic mismanagement means the UK Government simply has not had the fiscal headroom to offer the kind of support that has been available in some other countries. But just because they cannot offer tax breaks, does not excuse them actively doing down the industry.
“I would love nothing more than to work with you to facilitate the investment and risk-taking the industry needs.
"We are campaigning at a time when Britain is broke, but this creates an opportunity to shape policies that assist the high tech entrepreneurs that will drive our economy in the future. The video games sector must play a key part in this.”
Vaizey also pledged that a Tory Government would stimulate investment in superfast broadband, through the telecoms regulatory structure. He told MCV last week that he opposed Labour’s plans to implement a ‘broadband tax’ to raise the capital required for expansion.