Opposition minister Ed Vaizey has pursued the idea of Tiga and ELSPA merging ever since he became shadow culture secretary back in 2006.
But both industry associations have opposed the idea and, according to Vaizey, have done so quite vehemently.
“I have spoken to Tiga and ELSPA joining forces for years and they’ve both told me not to do that,” he said during today’s Whitehall panel debate on the game sector. “They have both given me reasons for not to in no uncertain terms.”
Tiga and ELSPA share many common interests for the good of the British games sector, and Vaizey is certainly not the first to suggest that ELSPA – which covers publishing – should unite with Tiga, which backs development.
Vaizey’s revelation of both parties’ opposition to the move was interestingly timed; Tiga CEO Richard Wilson was sitting on the same panel table, and ELSPA president Mike Rawlinson was watching on from the front row.
Wilson was given the opportunity to add some clarification to the matter, ensuring that though he has friends in ELSPA, competition and different views on industry matters can only be a good thing.
EA Northern Europe president Keith Ramsdale – who was also present on the panel – weighed in on the issue :
“I do think it’s right that Tiga and ELSPA represent two different roles,” he said. “But the issue is having a single voice – and I think Tiga and ELSPA can both contribute to a videogame council.”
“We have ELSPA and Tiga, but we don’t have a unified voice,” he said, suggesting that a UK videogame council – like the film council – would bring better exposure to industry issues.