The UK development industry is under ‘great’ threat from a skillset crisis and the exodus of talent abroad – and the Government simply isn’t doing enough to stop it.
That was the message from the Conservative Party this week, as it made a landmark attempt to build bridges with the UK’s interactive entertainment business.
Shadow secretary of state for culture Jeremy Hunt exclusively revealed to Develop’s sister magazine MCV that David Cameron’s Tories were planning to:
+ Discuss new proposals for tax breaks for the UK industry;
+ Formulate economic policy to “specifically benefit” both large and small games companies;
+ Advocate a “more robust IP framework” to protect publishers from piracy.
The news will put fresh pressure on Labour to implement new policy to financially benefit domestic studios, after the UK recently dropped below Canada in the global development-related employment table.
“The UK games industry is a vitally important part of our economy,” Hunt told MCV. “Government needs to do all they can to support this sector and allow it to flourish.
“One of the greatest threats facing the UK industry at present is certainly the shortage of suitably trained graduates. Also, many of our top talent are going abroad to places such as Canada where companies are offered [more appealing] incentives.
“Tax breaks for the games industry similar to those experienced by the film industry, could go some way to remedying this situation and this is something I will be discussing with my colleagues in the Conservative Treasury team.”
ELSPA this week supported comments made by SCi boss Jane Cavanagh to MCV, in which the Eidos boss accused Labour of “not taking games seriously” and called for state fiscal perks in line with those gifted to the UK movie industry.