Written statement to Develop says 'This is a great first step and should put the UK in a stronger position'

Kotick: UK tax breaks are ‘a great first step’

One of the most powerful men in video games has praised the UK government’s decision to introduce a tax break for developers.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, this afternoon told Develop in a written statement that tax credits are "a great first step" for the UK.

He said: "This is a great first step and should put the UK in a stronger position to compete with other countries offering incentives for videogames production."

Activision Blizzard employs 4,000 staff around the world – and until only recently had a strong UK development workforce, but took an axe to it once productions like Blur and DJ Hero 2 stalled at retail.

Previously, Kotick had been very clear about his disappointment with the UK government’s back-and-forth on tax breaks. Last year he said the Coalition government’s u-turn on the matter “was a terrible mistake”. He said that Britain was at a disadvantage on the world stage, and that “there are so many other places that are encouraging the video games industry.” And he even refused to rule out moving UK operations out of the country.

But today, his tone is much more optimistic.

Kotick added: "The UK is an important centre for development talent, employing 9,000 people in the video games sector, and anything that promotes further investment should be welcomed."

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