Britain’s two leading games trade bodies have joined together as part of a new steering committee that “will represent a unanimous games industry” when engaging with the government.
Both UKIE and Tiga have helped form a new group of UK businesses that includes Blitz Games Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment. Crucially, the Culture Department is also represented on the committee.
UKIE chairman Andy Payne, speaking today at the Develop Conference, said it was “very important that the Culture Department is part of the committee, even if they don’t like what we tell them, because it means we have a direct line to them.”
However, the Department for Education Department – seen to be crucial to solving many issues affecting the games industry – has not joined the committee.
Each member of the committee that is separate from Government can put their name forward in support for new policies.
Key industry issues include reforming game education and providing game tax breaks. However, Payne told Develop that the group will “join up on a number of touch points and issues”.
“This is about broad support for all industry issues going forward,” he said.
And the committee is engaging with government with their own language, Payne said, representing the sector through terms such as “digital manufacturing” and “digital education”.
“This is the language that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills is hearing from us,” Payne told Develop.
UKIE will fund the steering committee with up to ₤100,000. ₤30,000 has already been put forward.
“We’ve been let down by politicians so far,” Payne added, touching on one of the reasons why the committee has formed.
“Tiga pushed hard for games tax breaks and even persuaded the former chancellor to implement them. Sadly [his successor] George Osborne scrapped the policy. That’s a big blow for the British games industry. We need to join up. We need to make sure that as an industry we are better represented.”
Payne urged all UK games industry groups to join the committee.
For years, both UKIE and Tiga have been at the centre of rumours that both groups will merge. Tiga is against the idea.