Tiga, the UK trade association representing the business and commercial interests of games developers, today warned the Government that it must create a fair competitive environment for UK games developers.
Tiga’s warning follows Eidos’s recent decision to move its production services from London to Montreal, citing Quebec’s heavily government subsidised lower cost environment as a reason.
Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:
“UK games developers can compete successfully against games developers all over the world where market conditions are fair. The UK is the fourth largest developer of games in the world in terms of revenue generation. Games developers contribute 30% of the country’s media exports. However, Canadian government subsidies for games developers mean that the playing field is increasingly tipped against UK based games developers.
“UK games developers want to compete in a fair global market. The UK Government should make it a priority to determine whether the incentives offered by Canada to video games developers violate World Trade rules. If they do, as seems likely, the Government must take action via the World Trade Organisation against Canada at the earliest opportunity.
“However, a WTO ruling on the issue could take years to reach and UK games developers are losing jobs now. The Government should therefore introduce tax breaks for game production in the UK in order to level the playing field against unfair competition. We need this measure as soon as possible - an announcement by Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his Budget on March 12th would be ideal."