ELSPA backs call for government to support games industry

ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, has declared its support for Eidos chief executive Jane Cavanagh, who said in an interview with games industry trade magazine MCV that the games industry is “not being taken seriously” by the Government because it fails to offer developers enough incentive to operate in the UK.

ELSPA says the UK computer games industry, which employees around 22,000 people, has slipped to fourth place behind Canada, the US and Japan as one of the world’s creative development and publishing superpowers, meaning developers are choosing alternative locations to the UK for their studios “at the expense of British industry and jobs”.

Eidos recently announced the launch of a new Canadian studio in Montreal, creating 350 jobs, where the UK games company has received support to establish the studio.

Cavanagh said a 37.5% contribution towards development salaries was “a huge incentive” and said the games industry in the UK should receive similar incentives to those enjoyed by film studios to encourage development in the UK.

ELSPA director general Paul Jackson says: “Jane’s comments reflect the very serious position the industry finds itself in. ELSPA has been engaging with the new Brown government on this issue via the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Our impression is that the Government understands there is a serious problem here and we have been invited back to discuss the issue further.

“However, we are wary that historically UK governments have never really given us the support we require when compared with other industries in our sector. It is therefore up to this new administration to reverse the failings of the past and fully support the games industry at this difficult time.”

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