Eidos Exec: Games Regarded Just Above Porn by U.K. Govt.

The British government views its nation’s video game industry as "one notch up from pornography," according to an Eidos exec.

The Guardian reports on comments made by Ian Livingstone (left), Eidos’ creative director and head of acquisitions.

Livingstone also criticized the U.K. government’s refusal to offer tax incentives to game developers:

We’ve recently slipped from third to fourth in world development behind Canada. We’re now the most expensive country in the world in which to develop. Other countries – not just Canada, but two states in the US, Scandinavian countries, France, Singapore, Korea and others – offer salary subsidies…

 

It seems to me the UK government would rather see our great industry go into decline than help it maintain its prominent position in the world, and that is madness…

 

We’re still seen as the red-headed stepchild of the creative industries, one notch up from pornography in the eyes of most of the establishment. They forget that half of the world and half of the UK’s population play games. Games help define who we are as human beings – they are as important, culturally and socially, as music and films.

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27 comments

  1. 0
    Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    FACEPALM

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON’S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

  2. 0
    Haggard says:

    I don’t really see the problem with that phrase. Families used to be ashamed of redheaded children, so the metaphor works perfectly. Also, since games are great, he’s hinting that the figurative redheaded child is of far greater value than meets the eyes of the parents.

    It’s not like he’s saying "burn all gingers" or something..

  3. 0
    squigs says:

    It’s an interesting point.  Although it’s curious that he used one of the few remaining areas of socially acceptable bigotry  (red-headed) to make his point…

  4. 0
    Mech says:

    It means if you pull on the rope of society connected to the pully of government, then the gear of political correctness connected to gaming is only one notch away from porn.

  5. 0
    Chuma says:

    Theres a whole bunch of places that make mobile games and flash games, just far less of the console and pc games these days.  Real shame because we used to have such a front seat in the industry when it was starting up.  But as for the more recognisable names beyond Rockstar, there is Realtime Worlds, Cohort Studios, Black Company, I-Play, Denki, Proper Games, Genuine Games, Tag, Dynamo, Claymore, Digital Goldfish, Cobra, Slam and I’m sure many more.

  6. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    yeah media molecule are based in guildford london too, near lionhead

    and LBP is an AMAZING game.

     

    As a 3rd yea student game developer (about to go out into the big wide workd of employment in the games industry) its shocking that im (as a BRITISH born developer) already looking abroad (canada mainly) at positions for employment.

     

    heed my words, britains game  industry talent will NOT stay here for much longer if other countries keep becoming cheaper and cheaper to develop in, and continue to offer more and more respect to gaming as a valid industry both artistically and commercially.

     

  7. 0
    Haggard says:

    Sony has a few studios here (Sony Liverpool makes Wipeout), Rockstar have three branches I think here, including Rockstar North in Scotland which develop the GTA games, Eidos are here as the article pointed out..

    Oh, and Lionhead (Peter Molyneaux, Fable/The Movies etc)

    But when compared to other countries like Germany and Canada we’ve got nothing, and the USA is just ridiculously high up in terms of games development.

  8. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Britain has produced some of the best games ever made and it really is sad that they don’t get the recognition they deserve as a serious and economically important industry in the way that films & art do.

    Then again, weren’t the Codemasters Darling brothers recently knighted for services to the industry? Maybe they can call up their new mate Queen Liz & have a word to her about this.

    Hmm if games & porn are almost on the same level, who will the queen honour next? Sir Peter North? Dame Jenna Jameson?

    "With this sword I now dub thee… hey Jenna, you’re not supposed to SWALLOW it!"

  9. 0
    Haggard says:

    He was referring more towards the attitude of politicians. They’re all from the older generation and so there’s probably only a handful out of almost a thousand (MPs and Lords) who play games. Indeed, here in the UK it seems to be almost a culturual attitude to look down on games. Parents aren’t willing to play anything deeper than a round of Wii Tennis with their kids and so that creates the image that they’re toys for young kids.

    Hence Gordon Brown wanted to do something about getting them banned in order to look like a paternal caring man, but the report he comissioned came out unequivically against it.

  10. 0
    GusTav2 says:

    I really don’t get this. Where is the link between the lack of tax breaks and being treated like porn?  It hardly as if the UK gives direct sectoral tax incentives to many industries – are the vast majority of industries then treated like porn?

    Until the industry can come up with a more convincing argument than this they are never going to win over the politicians and get any support.

  11. 0
    Canary Wundaboy says:

    It’s only a temporary thing. The average politician is 40-60, just above the average age of a gamer. As time goes on, more politicians who are gamers will come to power, just as gaming will continue to increase. When that happens, a lot of the stigma and misinformation clung to by the current order will simply melt away.

  12. 0
    Kris says:

    Ouch.  Well, that bites.  It’s unfortunate that they’re looked down upon that way.  I wonder how much longer the negative view of gaming will last?  I’m sure there were always be some sort of stigma to it, just like things like metal and rock music still have.  But it’d be nice if they at least recognized it as a legitimate industry.

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