British Conservative Party Charges Govt. with Failing UK Game Biz

A Conservative member of the British Parliament has accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour government of failing the UK’s video game industry.

As reported by, Ed Vaizey (left) said:

The Government’s strategy for videogames has been shown to be nothing more than a sham. For months, whenever we have pressed the Government for action, they have used the excuse that the issue had been referred to the WTO. Now they no longer have this excuse.

As the games industry itself says, the Government now ‘stands naked, bereft of a credible fiscal policy with which to support the sector.


The Government must act now to support an industry that is world-beating, job-creating and at the heart of our creative industries. After nine reviews of the creative industries, and eight more in the pipeline, the Government’s dithering has now been exposed as causing real damage.

Vaizey’s mention of the WTO refers to a trade complaint which the UK filed against Canada in March, 2008. As Gamers Daily News reports, that bid has failed.

Richard Wilson, head of British game developers’ trade group Tiga, echoed Vaizey’s criticism of the government’s handling of the video game sector:

Last year the Government said that the UK via the European Union would take legal action against Canada if its support for its video games industry violated WTO rules. We now know that there are no legal grounds on which to lodge a complaint.

We cannot stop our competitors from benefiting from tax breaks but there is a simple solution: copy them. Just as Australia, Canada, China, France, Singapore, South Korea and some American states help their games industries to grow through extensive tax breaks, so the UK Government should back our games industry with a tax break for games production. If you can’t beat them, join them.

The Government stands naked before the games industry, bereft of a credible fiscal policy with which to support the sector…

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  1. NovaBlack says:

    put it this way..


    I graduate from a games development course in 3 months as does my brother. We are both thinking of moving to canada. Both top of the class. So its true the UK is losing talent..

    Why? because the wages are on average 30% better and linving costs are lower, and industry workers have far better working conditions.


    pump some money into the games industry UK. Before its too late.

  2. SticKboy says:

    "Conservatives" as in the Conservative Party, not the political stance. JESUS. In the UK, The Conservative (or Tory) Party actually hold libveral views on certain issues (strange, but true). It’s just a name, like Republican or Democrat.


  3. TBoneTony says:

    I think that both Liberals and Conservatives either both hate the videogame industry and some on both sides love the Videogame Industry because they are able to recognise the tallent and the money the games industry makes.

    I think the more logical way of saying it, is that there are some of the older generation politicians who hate videogames and some of the younger generation politicians who like the videogame industry.

    Maybe it is because they grew up playing videogames.

    Also there are a few older politicians who think that the games industry has had a hard time with both a few nuts like Keith Vaz and the Daily Mail for all the negative publicity and I think it is those few wiser politicians who are trying to say the right things, but no one (not even the mainstream news media that gives politicians the air time they need to get votes) are ever going to listen to words of reason when lies and sensationalism makes more money out of a newsworthy story.


  4. T5 says:

    If this website has proved anything beyond a reasonable doubt it is that there is no hard and fast rule in regards to political ideology in relation to gaming.  It seems to come down to a politician’s individual decision.  


    There are Conservatives who champion the industry and some who decry it, same with Liberals and that is that. 

  5. The Hangd Man says:


    > blaming video game for crimes since 1970’s (correct me if I’m wrong).

    Actually what is happening here is that a conservative member of the UK parliament (a parlimentary minority right now) is saying that the current government (led by the labor party) is not doing enough to support the local video game industry, and it’s why they’re starting to fall behind countries like Canada.

    > Are them claiming giving video game companies tax breaks is illegal?

    No. At least Ed Vaizey is not saying that. When the UK gaming industry saw that it was hemmoraging talent and money, (two things that were moving to other countries that were giving out tax breaks and credits to boost their national gaming industries) the UK gaming industry asked the government to do something. The government, in it’s very limp-wristed response said that it was going to take up the issue of the tax breaks with the World Trade Organization and see if they could be declared illegal (thus halting the flow of talent out of the country since those out of country gaming companies wouldn’t have the cash to hire talent from outside their borders). The WTO basically scratched it’s collective head at the question and said ‘there’s nothing illegal about that’ and dismissed the case. Now the UK gov’t has basically sat on it’s hands and done nothing since, and people such as Ed Vaizey and Richard Wilson are telling the gov’t to get off it’s ass and help out it’s gaming industry or it’s going to lose out on a lot of money.

    In my honest opinion (for whatever little that’s worth) I don’t think that the UK is going to offer these tax breaks until some of the self-aggrandizing politicians quiet down or are removed from office and parliament starts looking at the industry part of the gaming industry.

  6. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Conservatives use morlaisim frist, Libarels as a 2nd.


    Comunisists anything to get them control over the population….. kinda like Conservatives frist and Libarels 2nd…. LOL


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.

  7. Lucien says:

    Maybe you should read the actual article, because it’s pretty positive support. Or were you commenting on conservatives in general?

  8. State says:

    Maybe in your country, not in this one. Politicians understand that the sex in games is very mild when compared to similar films. I’ve haven’t heard many complaints about sex in games in the UK (violence only makes the headlines), but I think people here confuse the Conservative party with conservative politicians (particularly those in the US). Too many people here are jumping to too many conclusions.

  9. Bennett Beeny says:

    Yeah, usually the conservatives are less against videogame violence than their socialist counterparts.  But if you bung nudity in a game, the conservatives will be clamouring for a ban with frothy mouths.

  10. Canary Wundaboy says:

    Eh? No, they are blaming the Government for not supporting the videogame industry in the UK with tax breaks. Ed Vaizey has a well-documented history of supporting the videogame industry within the UK Parliament, he’s one of the few with the brains and the balls to stand against Keith Vaz and all his flag-waving. You have totally the wrong end of the stick on this story, and you’re beginning to look a bit wierd for defending your position when it’s obvious to everyone else that you’re wrong.

  11. Nocturne says:

    You’ve completely misunderstood this, the Conservative party are complaining that the Labour government didn’t act to support the UK video games industry with tax incentives but spent too long trying to chase a legal resolution against Canadian tax incentives which if it had been successful for Labour would have supported the UK video game industry, how is that the Conservatives "showing their hate on video game"

  12. SticKboy says:

    WTF are you talking about? The Conservative party are the party of opposition – the PM is the head of the Labour Govt. 

    Unless I’m being incredibly dense… care to clarify?

  13. mdo7 says:

    I did,

    I think if you interpret the article closely, you know what my comment is directed at.  Look at the title of the article.  They’re showing their hate on video game by putting the blame on the Prime Minister because the minister didn’r act hard enough or didn’t act at all on video game industry.  I read the article closely, hence my comment on conservatives.

  14. SticKboy says:

    W/e – hand-wring all you like, but this purely positive step in the right direction, plain and simple.

    I couldn’t give two fucks about which party supports the videogame sector so long as one of them does. They’re all virtually indistinguishable from each other these days anyway (well… apart from the Greens, but who’d vote for them?).

  15. State says:

    Actually the Conservatives are normally supportative of industries like this. It was under Thatcher that Video Nasties came about and I believe that the Conservatives supported them because they made money and the same goes with games too.

  16. Nocturne says:

    It’s all gone a bit Bizzaro world here on the games front, Conservative are fighting for more support of the games industry (any moral issues aside, money speaks loudly and no country in their right mind would look at the international success of the likes of GTA and not want to offer the industry some support), whereas Labour, well they have Keith Vaz.

  17. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Were they not the oens that were bitching about violent video games??….


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.

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