Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has recommended that industry trade bodies TIGA and ELSPA merge – to form ‘The Video Games Association’.
Both organisations have met together with Government in recent months as part of video games roundtables, discussing issues that affect both publishers and developers.
These subjects have included age ratings, tax breaks for studios and the ‘skillset’ that students need from universities to break into the industry.
However, Mr Vaizey told Develop’s sister magazine MCV that he believed having both bodies arguing similar cases under one name was “slightly odd”.
He said: “From a policy maker’s perspective, it’s easier to deal with one body.
“I’m aware that TIGA represents developers and ELSPA works for publishers. But this ‘Video Games Association’ would do what it said on the tin. Politicians would know exactly what they were, rather than with [the acronyms] TIGA and ELSPA, which don’t mean anything unless you’re au fait with the industry. If they were one voice, it would carry much more weight.”
Director general of ELSPA Michael Rawlinson said: “ELSPA and TIGA agree on around 95 per cent of issues and, due to co-operation between the two bodies, we usually mirror each other’s thinking when speaking to Government. However, for the moment the two groups often have different perspectives, so it is perfectly reasonable that they are represented by different organisations.
“Compared to other high profile industries such as the alcohol sector – which has at least ten representative bodies – we are practically Siamese! As technologies and the industry as a whole develop we might well see the trade bodies moving towards amalgamation. Until this time the common thinking between ELSPA and TIGA on the vast majority of issues ensures that we are properly represented in Whitehall.”