Trade body â??had positive discussionsâ?? on establishing a Govt game agency

ELSPA denies Tory claim it opposed game council

ELSPA has refuted suggestions that the industry body is opposed to a national film council.

Director general Michael Rawlinson told Develop that “to dismiss the idea of setting up a government sponsored agency for the games industry would be foolish.”

Rawlinson’s comments come after Conservative MP Ed Vaizey – a front-runner for the next culture secretary job if his party is elected – said that both TIGA and ELSPA were against the idea of a game council.

Speaking at last week’s State of Independence event in York, Vaizey said it is “quite Bizarre” that Britain has a film council and not a game council.

Vaizey added, “I know that TIGA and ELSPA say that their own trade bodies can do that job with direct support from the Government, and that might be one way to go.”

Rawlinson, however, says that it is incorrect to claim that ELSPA opposes a UK game council.

“In fact the opposite is true as we have already had positive discussions with him as to how this idea could be developed,” he said.

“The film industry has benefited immensely from the establishment of its own quango and we would be delighted to have the opportunity to mimic that success.”

The ELSPA boss agreed that “some of the roles can and are being achieved via the trade bodies”, but said dismissing a game council outright would be “foolish”.

He added, “We therefore look forward to discussing this idea with the Conservatives should they be successful on May 6th.”

ELSPA has now documented its position on a game council by releasing its new policy manifesto, which includes a pledge to:

“Develop and support a government sponsored agency with responsibility for tax breaks, lottery funding, industry promotion and inward investment.”

Elsewhere in its policy plan, ELSPA also set out an agenda to bolster the popularity of key STEM subjects and computer science lessons.

The trade body said it wants to “work with Skillset and industry to develop relevant, industry specific undergraduate courses create partnerships between industry and academia to encourage undergraduates in key subjects to seek employment in the games industry.”

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