Games development trade association Tiga has said it hopes the culture ministers in Gordon Brown’s new cabinet will maintain the support their predecessor Shaun Woodward gave the games industry – but has stressed that Government and games developers must work together to make sure the UK can remain a creative leader on the world’s stage.
The comments come off the back of a report Woodward co-unveiled last month and renewed calls for a games academy to help UK developers build a talent base.
At the time he pointed out that the UK was fast losing out to regions like Canada when it came to securing development staff
Tiga CEO Fred Hasson (pictured) said: “[In Shaun Woodward] we had a Minister who took the time to listen to the industry and verify what we told him and recognise the importance of the industry. He understood that a successful industry is not only based on vat receipts from growing sales at retail, and that we need to focus on skills, talent and importantly that the sector should be supported, if it is to compete against subsidies in other territories”.
Hasson added that Tiga members say they are losing staff to Canada specifically, which itself is also luring business to set up operations in the country thanks to tax breaks and subsidy incentives.
“We are pleased that new DCMS Ministers James Purnell and Margaret Hodge have recently had Ministerial responsibilities for the ‘games’ sector, so that hopefully they will be able to pick up where Shaun Woodward left off but we need to keep the flow of evidence going to these new Ministers,” added Hasson
“We are currently working on finding solutions to delays in work permit delays for non EU nationals, and on uncertainties and underperformance of R&D Tax Credits regime, but we need all in the industry to keep us informed of what is going on out there. Information passed on is kept confidential.”