Separation means 'half our voice, half our power,' says Andy Payne

UKIE calls for Tiga merger

Industry trade body UKIE said it would like to explore a closer relationship with its counterpart Tiga at its Annual General Meeting today.

There have been numerous calls from the industry in the past for a single UK trade organisation to represent developers, and UKIE has again expressed its interest in joining forces with Tiga.

UKIE chairman Andy Payne said he was “extending a hand” to Tiga CEO Richard Wilson and the board to explore how the trade bodies can work together.

He said the current split meant the industry only had “half our voice, half our power" with two separate organisations.

“It just feels like we should be one because we are a new industry,” said Payne.

“It would be easier, for the media and politicians.”

UKIE CEO Jo Twist said the two organisations often discussed industry matters together, and the trade bodies shouldn’t have to compete for members.

“We’ve had a lot of members leave Tiga and join UKIE but they shouldn’t have to,” she said.

UKIE has tried to work closer with Tiga on schemes such as the roadshow for tax breaks and a draft response to government on subsidied.

While Twist said UKIE already cooperates on certain matters, “in these hard times we need to tighten our belts and pull our socks up”.

The two trade bodies had come close to a merger in 2011 before talks between the organisations broke down.

At the time, Tiga released a statement that it did not see the value of distracting itself from matters such as games tax relief and R&D credits.

“Tiga and its board would like to make it clear that we have no plans to merge with any other organisation,” the trade body said.

“We do not see value in distracting ourselves with talks towards such an end while the games industry faces pressing matters including Games Tax Relief, R&D tax credits, improving access to finance, migration policy, education and skills and IP.”

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