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Firebrand: "All is not doom and gloom in Scotland"

But Glasgow-based developer bemoans "red tape" and "cost of doing business" in the UK

Firebrand Games CEO Mark Greenshields has told GamesIndustry.biz that while attention is currently on the plight of Realtime Worlds, following the giant developer entering administration earlier this week, there are still plenty of other studios in Scotland seeing success, and that "all is not doom and gloom".

The company, based in the "not quite as sunny as Dundee" city of Glasgow, is "going from strength to strength," with a number of positions currently being advertised on GamesIndustry.biz, and has now shipped 11 titles in four years.

The highlight of those games is Grid, which two years after launch is still the highest-rated racing title on Metacritic other than Super Mario Kart, and Greenshields puts some of that success down to a "good work/home balance".

"I am extremely proud of what the Firebrand team have achieved over the last four years," he said. "We're going from strength to strength with more high quality games on more platforms than ever before - and as we have always been, we remain profitable and debt free."

But he did voice some concern about the "cost of doing business" in the UK, compared with other countries, and admitted that the headcount in the company's Florida studio was higher than that in Glasgow now.

"I would like to further add my support to TIGA's demand for tax credits to support development in the UK," he said. "We are competing on an uneven playing field and having the UK constantly suffering at the hands of other major economies who see, what the UK government seem to fail to, that these tax credits are revenue positive for the exchequer.

"With proper support from government the industry would grow not shrink as it is now. I despair that the UK development community will suffer as most other industries do from the UK and move overseas.

"Our Florida office is larger than our UK, purely because of the cost of doing business plus the red tape needed in the UK. As a Glaswegian born-and-bred, this is not right - but decisions are made for business reasons worldwide and we did the same."

The long-expected news that the UK had slipped to fourth in the global development stakes - behind the US, Japan and now Canada - was confirmed earlier this week.

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Latest comments (2)

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 7 years ago
I'm going to start supporting TIGA like it was my local football team.
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Richard Wilson , TIGA7 years ago
Thanks KC and MG. TIGA will continue to champion the industry in our discussions with policy makers.
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