Culture minister Ed Vaizey has downplayed the threat of Canada’s charm offensive on UK developers.
The Conservative MP told the BBC that Britain’s longstanding culture of game development puts it on a “relatively level playing field” with Canada’s highly state-supported sector.
Many Brits fear that more developers will migrate to Canada if the UK continues to lack means to encourage game businesses to invest in the region.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick last month warned that incentives to invest in Britain were drying up. Last year Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson told Develop that the UK’s dev migration North America was ‘massive’.
And with Canada booming ever more from its world-leading state incentives schemes, such as tax breaks, some worry that the chess pieces are in position to capture key English talent.
”The Canadian Government has made a decision to get behind the videogame industry and to create one virtually out of nothing,” said Vaizey.
”But I feel that it’s still a relatively level playing field, because while the Canadians are putting in a lot of direct financial support, it’s very hard to create the kind of ecology that we have in this country.”
He added: “Videogames have been around for fifty years and we have been at the forefront of video games development in this country, and that’s very hard to replicate.”
The coalition government last month abolished plans for game tax breaks, after sustained pre-election promises.