UK Politician Calls for Government to Step Up Aid to Game Devs

As part of yesterday’s London Games Conference, Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey called for sweeping proposals to aid the UK’s videogame development industry.

Vaizey cited research that indicated the UK games market could shrink by 16.5 percent over the next five years, in turn losing some 1,700 jobs. Among the reforms he called for, via MCVUK, were:

• Look at extending the remit of the Film Council to cover the video games sector to give video games the national voice they need and deserve.
• Recognise that high technology companies in the UK face specific challenges when it comes to raising finance and attracting venture capital.
• Give the sector the support it needs to succeed and expand in the global economy.
• Stimulate investment in superfast broadband, vital to the future growth of the sector, through the telecoms regulatory structure.

In a speech at the conference, Vaizey said the UK had lost 44 studios already, and risked losing its current ranking of third in the world (behind America and Japan) in terms of game development. He continued:

Global competition is incredibly fierce, and high development costs in the United Kingdom are slowly killing the industry. Given what is happening, you would expect our Government to be acting urgently. After all, many others are.  Unfortunately, the UK is falling far behind.

Vaizey stopped short of endorsing a tax-break for developers, encouraging studios to “think more widely than that,” noting that, “First things first, we need to get the public finances under control by tackling our spiralling deficit.”

So, is Vaizey a gamer?

I am not a gamer. I have just got myself a Wii. So I am getting involved. It’s been the single greatest pleasure of my job to discover and learn about an industry I knew little about before this job.

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  1. 0
    State says:

    "We don’t want you’re support until you buy another console".

    I find it absurd that when someone makes comments in support of the games industry they got shot down by the same people who moan that are no politicians supporting gaming. It appears you can’t win.

    I’ll also ignore the blantant fanboyism (which is even worse considering that you’re under the belief that you have to play games online to be considered a "real gamer").

  2. 0
    Kabyk says:

    Thats all fine and dandy, Mr Vaizey, but you’re not a gamer if you own a Wii. You’re a gamer if you own any other gaming console. Come back when you own an Xbox 360 with a XBL Gold membership.

  3. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    I think that having a Wii is perhaps the best first step for anyone who is new to Videogames.


    Because you have games like Wii Sports (both original and Resort) and other games in the Wii series to start you off.


    Then you can download old Virtual Console games from the NES, SNES, N64 and realize that even back in those days Videogames were awesome fun too. Back in those days, these same people who are just discovering videogames now were thinking that Videogames were nothing but a waste of time, making kids kill people, making them fat and a whole lot of demonising opinions they once had back in the day.


    If this guy can understand a little about the life that we gamers decided to chose as our fun entertainment and life long hobby much in the same way as sports, collecting cards or catching insects (hint *Pokemon* hint) then it is all for the better.


    Plus I feel that Vaizey is not the person who was ditching Canada for stealing their developers, I think some people get his name mixed up with Vaz who is the REAL prick of the UK Politicians.



  4. 0
    State says:

    Mr Vaizey has always been a sound voice on the games industry and talking about the economic benefits of such and when there are those like Keith Vaz who spout out such nonsense and moaning appears even more bizarre.

    I don’t even think you have a clue what you’re talking about. "False words"? He’s saying what the government needs to do to protect this sector. "False face"? What he’s a politician so you don’t like him? He’s a politician so even if he says he supports gaming he must secretly be against it and share similar views to Vaz and Thompson (and any other anti-gaming person)?

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