Labour Govt. Can't Say How Much Money It's Given to Game Biz

April 3, 2009 -

The Labour Government of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has given financial assistance to the video game industry, but it doesn't know how much, according to gamesindustry.biz.

Conservative MP Philip Davies (left) addressed the question to the government's Department of Culture, Media and Sports earlier this week. Parliamentary under-secretary Barbara Follett provided the response:

The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. We do not have the specific figures broken down by sector or year.

Richard Wilson, CEO of U.K. game developers group Tiga, criticized the government's confusion:

The government needs good quality information if it is to implement plans that benefit economic sectors. However, the government's admission today that it supports the videogames sector but doesn't record the amount of financial support means that it cannot effectively measure its impact.

This is a great shame - the government needs to record and assess its financial assessments in order to make better policy in the future.

Game Developers Lobby Scottish Parliament for Tax Breaks

March 19, 2009 -

The Scottish Parliament heard from game developers yesterday as trade group Tiga lobbied for tax breaks.

As reported by the Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tiga head Richard Wilson complained that developers were working on an “uneven playing field” in comparison to their global competitors.

If we want the Scottish games industry in particular, and the UK games industry in general, to stay ahead of the pack, then we must introduce a tax break for games production similar to the EU-approved French tax credit.

Industry research indicates that if a 20% production tax credit was introduced, investment would increase by £220million over five years, generating a further 1,600 graduate jobs over the same period.

MSP Joe Fitzpatrick, who represents Dundee, where much of Scotland's game development community is based, backed Tiga's request:

Abolishing [Value-added Tax] for research and development would give Scottish [video game] firms the same benefits as those in France and keep us at the forefront of the industry.

 

I want to see Chancellor Alistair Darling take action in the upcoming budget.

Not everyone agreed, however. Some MSPs felt that sufficient incentives were already available to the video game industry.

UPDATE: Edge Online has debate highlights, or, for true political junkies, the full text of yesterday's debate.

5 comments

UK Game Developers File Complaint Against "Early Death" Ad

March 9, 2009 -

The fallout over controversial ads linking video game playing with early death continues.

In the latest news, Tiga, the trade association which represents U.K. video game developers, has filed a complaint with Britain's Advertising Standards Authority, reports develop.

At issue are print ads placed by the British government's Change4Life campaign which show a young boy holding a game controller. The ad's text reads, "Risk an early death, just do nothing."

Of the ads, Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said:

This advert is absurd and insulting in equal measure. To imply that playing a video game leads to a premature rendezvous with the Grim Reaper is a non-sequitur of colossal proportions. Alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, obesity and involvement in violent crime are forms of behaviour that risk an early death...

This advert is offensive to the 30,000 people who work in the UK’s video games industry, particularly the 10,000 who work in games development. Game developers are typically intelligent, very qualified and creative individuals who work to produce high quality games for people’s entertainment. They are not in the business of driving people to an early grave...

18 comments

British Conservative Party Charges Govt. with Failing UK Game Biz

February 11, 2009 -

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 gamesindustry.biz, 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...

22 comments

U.K. Game Devs Welcome Tax Break Proposal

November 12, 2008 -

Game developers in the U.K. are lining up behind a Conservative Party proposal that would lower taxes for small and medium-sized companies, according to gamesindustry.biz.

Richard Wilson, CEO of game dev trade group Tiga, called on Britain's ruling Labour Party to follow suit:

Measures to cut the tax burden on business in general and on games developers in particular, are welcome.

 

The Conservatives' proposals to enable [smaller companies] to delay their quarterly VAT payments for up to six months, to reduce employers' national insurance contributions... to cut corporation tax... and to reverse the planned increase in the small companies' rate... are encouraging.

On the other hand, Wilson criticized part of the Conservative plan which promotes apprenticeships:

The Conservative’s focus on boosting apprenticeships is too restrictive. The apprenticeship model is not ideal for every sector of the UK economy. Games developers need more graduates, particularly in computer science, mathematics and physics. Many games developers already employ highly qualified teams.

14 comments

Game Biz Guru: Bioshock 2 Next to be Banned in UK?

July 31, 2008 -

Video game industry consultant Vincent Scheurer (left), speaking the Develop conference in Brighton, warned that future game bans were possible in the UK.

As reported by gamesindustry.biz, Scheurer said:

The costs of the Manhunt 2 ban to RockStar were massive - an independent developer would be out of business... Call of Duty and BioShock could be banned under that criteria [that applied to Manhunt 2]… The next game to be banned could be BioShock 2, and then where would we be?

 

...It makes the business of making games that much harder.

Scheurer also spanked ELSPA boss Paul Jackson for praising the Manhunt 2 ban:

While we fail to fight back we will continue to be blamed for all of societies ills… In my view [European game developers group] Tiga was the only association to step up… Tiga realised, where the other's didn't, that this was about more than Manhunt 2.

Gamezine has more on Scheurer's remarks...

And GameSpot UK has even more...

 
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Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
InfophileIn other words, you stopped when you found out it was arguing for a position you disagreed with, but before you found out why.07/01/2015 - 5:29am
Goth_Skunk"In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no." And that's where I stopped reading.07/01/2015 - 5:11am
InfophileRelevant to our discussion of rape in fiction yesterday: http://www.wired.com/2015/06/rape-scenes/07/01/2015 - 4:58am
Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
 

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