EGTV Examines State of UK Gaming

The latest episode of Eurogamer’s EGTV show is entitled The Videogames Election and scrutinizes just how important—and necessary, perhaps—government support is to the UK games industry.

The piece features interviews with pro-game MP Tom Watson, ELSPA’s Michael Rawlinson, Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios, EA Sports President Peter Moore and TIGA’s Richard Wilson, among others.

Rawlinson took time in the piece to note a toning down in the anti-game rhetoric from MP Keith Vaz, who reacted some years ago to the UK’s Manhunt tragedy with a call to ban all violent videogames. When responding to the violent scene from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Vaz wanted to ensure that the game could not fall into the hands of children, to which Rawlinson replied, “That’s our message.”

The UK’s historic contribution to the beginning of game development is covered as well, sandwiched around segments that lament the UK’s current free-fall among countries producing games. By some accounts, the UK now ranks fourth in the world, behind the U.S. Japan and Canada.

Eurogamer visited developer David Braben of Frontier Developments, who stated:

We (the UK) essentially led the world right at the start… A lot of the people I know from then are still in the industry and are still doing very well, but they are in California, they are in Montreal… they are all around the world. Very few have stayed in the UK.

Watson questioned the British Broadcasting Corporation’s commitment to gaming, noting that it has spent a billion pounds on their websites since 1994, adding, “They could have breathed life into a lot of small game companies." He continued, "I’m not blaming the BBC, because all this is new and fast moving.”

BBC Children’s Head of Interactive Marc Goodchild said that games are “absolutely a core part of what we do.” He added, “As a public service organization, I think we do have a responsibility to make sure that we’re helping support the creative industries in the UK.”

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