Livingstone: "lobbying for tax breaks smacks of an industry in need"

Eidos life president calls for alternative government funding at GameHorizon 2010

By Alec Meer.Published Wednesday 30th June 2010, 8:04am GMT

Opening the GameHorizon 2010 conference in Gateshead yesterday, Eidos life president Ian Livingstone OBE called for the UK games industry to change tack on funding in light of last week's government budget.

"It's been quite a year," he said. "We've got a new government, but we didn't get tax breaks, which is a great shame. But maybe we need to try something else, because lobbying for a tax breaks, surely to our new government, that probably smacks of an industry in need, desperate for handouts, a sort of negative connotation."

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"So maybe we need to say to Mister Osborne, 'look, my son: this is a $50 billion industry, a $90 billion industry by 2015, we're very good at making games, we want to be successful at it.

"At the moment things are not that rosy here even though we've got the talent, we've got the ability to create amazing intellectual property. Why don't you think about perhaps setting up a fund? All we need is some more money up front to be on a level playing field'.

"So maybe we should change tack," he added. "I'm sure it will be possible, because they must surely realise that manufacturing is on the decline, our national services are on the decline the way out of this mess is the creative industry, the digital economy, us being in the games industry are surely at the forefront of that. They must see that we are the future."

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Livingstone also addressed the issues of gaming going increasingly online, how to monetise free content, and how "the power of the ivory tower designer could be in jeopardy because of the crowds. It seems like a golden age of opportunity for everybody creating content, not needing the helping hand of a publisher."

These have proved to be themes throughout the conference, with social network gaming proving a particular talking point.

Yesterday, conference director Carri Cunliffe also confirmed that, despite fears about organiser Codeworks' RDA funding, GameHorizon 2011 will go ahead, on June 28 and 29 next year.

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