31 January 2013, London: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills today met senior industry figures for a fact-finding visit to London games studio Mediatonic.
The Business Secretary was given a tour of Mediatonic’s Soho studio by CEO Dave Bailey and was shown a number of games to demonstrate the diversity of games and players, the broad range of digital platforms used to get games to market and the varied business models that the games industry operates.
The studio tour was followed by a roundtable chaired by Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist and attended by senior industry figures: Chairman of Ukie and Mastertronic, Andy Payne OBE, Ukie Vice Chair and Life President Eidos Ian Livingstone CBE, Miles Jacobson OBE Studio Director Sports Interactive, Fergal Gara Vice President Sony Computer Entertainment Europe as well as Dave Bailey and fellow Mediatonic founder Paul Croft.
Amongst the topics discussed at the roundtable were improving the flow of computer scientists and artists in to the industry, support for young entrepreneurs, difficulties securing access to finance, making sure tax breaks work as effectively as possible for all games businesses no matter what size, and how the government can help to promote the UK’s games industry once the tax breaks are implemented.
The Secretary of State recognised the growth potential of the UK games and interactive entertainment business and said that the government would continue to offer support to games businesses.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK is a leading games developer in Europe with a great reputation thanks to its highly skilled and creative workforce. The creative industries sector is growing quickly, so it’s important that talent is nurtured and businesses have access to the support they need to develop and seek out new growth opportunities.
“This is why Government is introducing new tax relief to support video game production in the UK to take effect from this April, pending state aid approval, and working to further promote the industry both here and abroad.”
Dr Jo Twist, Ukie CEO said: “The Secretary of State’s visit was yet another sign of government’s continued support for the games industry, its recognition that our industry can provide leadership when it comes to making sure our digital economy policies are future proof, and Ukie’s commitment to bringing our members together with politicians at the very highest level. With tax breaks due to be introduced we will be working closely with government and all games businesses this year to promote the UK as the best place to make and sell games and interactive entertainment, as well as making sure that skills and access to finance are not barriers to the growth of our fantastic industry and start-ups.”
Dave Bailey, CEO Mediatonic said: "Today's visit from the Secretary of State was a great opportunity to show how the games industry contributes to the British economy, as well as how it depends on and draws from a vast range of different skill sets and complementary industries. With the support from the Government in the form of tax breaks, our industry will continue to strengthen and companies like Mediatonic can compete on a more even global playing field."
Ukie Vice Chair, Life President Eidos and Co-Chair of the Next Gen Skills Campaign, Ian Livingstone CBE said: “We have made great progress in the last twelve months by working with Government, resulting in real support of the video games industry. In particular we welcome the Government’s recent announcements on Computer Science becoming the 4 th science in the E-Bacc and the proposed introduction of production tax credits for the industry. The video games industry is a major player in the high-tech creative industries, creating valuable intellectual property driving jobs and growth. I am delighted that Government recognises the contribution the industry makes and hope it will continue its support over the long term.”
Fergal Gara, Vice President Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said: “Sony sees the UK as key global hub in the games market; that’s why we have development studios and our European HQ here. It’s great to have the Secretary of State take a real interest in the sector and we look forward to working with him and other senior politicians to help make the UK an even better place for companies of all sizes to sell and make games.”
Miles Jacobson, Studio Director Sports Interactive, said: “We need government to understand how the games industry is leading the way in delivering digital content. Being able to speak to senior politicians like Vince Cable about access to finance and talent as well as the range of business models and digital platforms that we operate, is vital in helping government to understand how they can help the industry grow in the future.”
Andy Payne, Ukie and Mastertronic Chairman said: “Games and interactive entertainment is a high growth industry right now and we’re seeing more and more senior politicians get this. There are some snakes and ladders that government can help us remove and build particularly around Crowdfunding and ensuring Art AND Science are encouraged amongst students. Our conversation with Vince Cable has helped a key government minister to see the potential that the games industry has for jobs and growth both on a financial and cultural basis.”
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The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that aims to support, grow and promote the whole of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 2010 (although formerly known as ELSPA), Ukie’s membership includes all the major UK and global games publishers and the best of UK development talent - from promising start-ups to some of the biggest, most successful studios operating in the UK today.
We also have distributors, academic institutions, new publishers, and media outlets that are integral to the lifeblood of the industry as part of the family.
Ukie works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, access to finance and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
One of Ukie’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.
We also offer a comprehensive events programme to give the games industry access to key information, leading industry figures and give everyone the chance to network. You can see our events programme here http://ukie.org.uk/events
In addition, Ukie compiles weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.
Mediatonic design, build and operate games that connect millions of players worldwide. Our studios in London and Brighton, are focused on Free-to-Play, Mobile and Cross-Platform titles.
We work with the biggest media companies in Europe, North America & Asia to deliver world-class games to every corner of the globe.
We use state-of-the-art infrastructure to support millions of players and our Creative Teams work alongside Business Intelligence experts to continuously improve our games.