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Indies echo Livingstone's call for UKIE/TIGA unity

Thu 03 Feb 2011 11:47am GMT / 6:47am EST / 3:47am PST
Politics

But TIGA defends individual remit as UKIE declines to discuss possible merger

TIGA

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are...

tiga.org

UKIE

The Trade association for UK Interactive Entertainment

ukie.info

Pitbull's Robert Troughton and Just Add Water's Stuart Gilray have told GamesIndustry.biz they would support a merger of games industry trade associations TIGA and UKIE, following Ian Livingstone's recommendation that the two groups should speak with a unified voice in order to affect crucial change in the UK.

But TIGA CEO Richard Wilson has made clear that the board of the development body believes that the industry's needs are best served by the two bodies remaining separate, and that evidence shows the vast majority of mergers and acquisitions "break down".

Both Troughton and Gilray argued that a general merger of UKIE and TIGA is the best way to help the UK's development industry lobby government effectively and reverse the current trend of closures and job losses.

Both also believe that other UK groups, such as GameHorizon, should be incorporated into the single trade association.

"The problem we've got in the UK is there are lots of different camps and opinions flying around, there seems to be little solidarity at times," said Gilray.

"I think UKIE and TIGA should likely become one. We are losing people from the UK industry as at times it's a bit of a headless chicken, so to unite certain bodies would give us a single voice, especially if we can save the various groups like GameHorizon and Game Republic."

The issue of mixed messages being presented to government has caused friction between the ranks of UKIE and TIGA in several cases, a schism which some believe has damaged the industry's relationship with the government.

The potential wisdom of a merger between the two bodies has been an elephant in the room for some time, but UKIE board member Ian Livingstone brought the matter to a head on Tuesday by calling for a greater level of cooperation, and tacitly encouraging a unification of the two institutions in the conclusions to the Livingstone-Hope skills review presentation on Tuesday.

"Progress is all about simplification not complication. In order to be clearly heard, it is important to speak with a single voice. To be taken seriously the videogames industry and its trade bodies must be united to raise awareness of the opportunities it offers and the issues it faces," wrote Livingstone.

Pitbull's Troughton is very much in agreement, calling for a unified body to carry the needs and opinions of the UK games industry to parliament with a single voice - taking in the memberships of all major UK industry trade bodies to ensure a total representation.

"I definitely agree with them [UKIE and TIGA] merging together. I don't see any point in having two bodies representing the games industry. If they don't agree and they're going to government with plans that even they can't agree on, then what's the point? There's no way that the government's going to agree if they're fighting," he said.

"In the UK I think there's more than just those two bodies that need to merge together. There's GameHorizon, which until recently has represented the North East, but they're looking at a more national goal as well. It's going to be another body representing the games industry - why do we need that? Maybe the North East does need something, or it did before, but I don't see why the UK needs another nationwide body."

As the head of an independent studio, Troughton hasn't felt that his best interests have been addressed by the actions of the existing system, and feels that TIGA's campaign for tax breaks has been firmly targeted at helping big business rather than grass roots development.

"I'd like to see one body that represents all studios. I think TIGA, in the past, have concentrated on the large studios. Most of what they were asking for with the tax breaks would benefit long-standing, very large studios but independent developers wouldn't really see any gain from that.

"A lot of the arguments for tax breaks were to the benefit of studios. I run my own studio now, but I'd rather see things which benefit the staff than just lining my own pockets. If you look at what happened with Midway Newcastle, that studio was liquidated because it was owned by a US studio and they had Midway Newcastle as a development house. They were funding the studio with only just enough to make the games, never putting any more in. If the games ever made a profit, that was the publisher's profit.

"So when Midway was going bankrupt it was a very easy studio to close because they could just argue that it had never made a profit. I think that if the government had stepped in at the time to help Midway, it wouldn't have helped the staff there at all. That money would have just gone into the studio and Midway would have used it as a cost reduction.

"That's not what the UK needs, we need to stem the flow of people going to Canada, we need improve the education system, keep people here, train people better. We don't need to help large publishers make more of a profit. That's not the right way to do it. What the government wants from the tax breaks is to see a return on their investment. I don't think that, under TIGA's proposals, they'd see that. So what I'd like to see from a merged body is something where real people can put something into it and before all this stuff goes to government they can take a look at it and decide if it's the right thing to be asking for."

It makes an awkward point for TIGA. As what has traditionally been a body which is intended to represent the needs of developers, as opposed to the publisher-centred UKIE, TIGA needs the support of small developers as well as large, established studios. CEO Richard Wilson believes that they have just that, and that the needs of all of TIGA's members have to be its absolute priority.

"We feel we deliver a very effective and efficient service to TIGA members - not only in terms of lobbying, but also with media exposure, trade support, knowledge transfer, best practice for business - so on and so forth. I think TIGA performs a very good job with very limited resources, it's a very efficient service for its members," he said.

"TIGA was built on a bedrock of serving game developers, and that's a key thing that TIGA has got to be about. Publishers are obviously welcome to join TIGA's ranks, which is good, but serving the interest of the development community is absolutely critical. We can't afford to lose focus on that, that's where our energies lie."

But a merger is not something which Wilson thinks is in the best interests of his members, nor the industry as a whole - although occasional co-operation between the bodies is something which he will endorse.

"We're pleased with the space that we're in. We're always happy to speak to our friends over at UKIE, and from time to time I'm sure we will do things together. I think that's almost certainly going to be on an ad-hoc basis, rather than anything else.

"What I would say is that, if you look at the evidence, over 80 per cent of mergers, and indeed acquisitions, fail. They break down, they don't deal with value for customers. Now, I know we're talking about trade associations here, but the principle does remain the same. When you try to bring different organisations together, from very backgrounds and culture, different people in those organisations, you can never guarantee that it's going to be an overwhelming success. Indeed, if you look at the evidence it shows that most of them break down."

Faced with the argument that the somewhat fractured and inconsistent position which the industry currently presents to parliament is causing it to be ignored, Wilson maintained that a unilateral position is not an effective way to achieve progress.

"There seems to be this implicit feeling that a monopoly viewpoint, or a monopoly voice, is the way to get progress. Well, I don't think the people in Egypt would agree with that. It's quite clear that progress is normally driven forward by competition and choice. It's a very good point to bear in mind. Everyone has to stand back I think and think to themselves, what is the point of having a single voice - even if that could be achieved? What is the point of having that single voice, if it doesn't say anything worthwhile?"

UKIE director general Michael Rawlinson is on annual leave, and as such was unavailable to comment, but representatives of the organisation, including director of corporate communications Dan Wood, refused to be drawn into the debate, offering a stance of "no comment".

26 Comments

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Isn't asking Wilson to come out in favour of a merger a bit like asking a turkey to vote for Christmas? Robert's a really good guy - hopefully instead of any kneejerk reaction, they'll listen to him.

Posted:3 years ago

#1
Look. Basically UKIE and TIGA board members and mission statements are like apples and pears.
Asking to genetically splice TIGA and UKIE into a pearapple is not posisble because they are effectively two different parties with totaly different missions statements, goals and directives.

Where there are crossover elements, they can negotiate to provide support in unison.

Having two tradebodies allows for a good breadth of coverage of different ideas and opinions.
UKIE & TIGA, do not see eye to eye on all issues and rightly so. In addition, I sincerly doubt that a unifed body will be as efficient, robust in its causes or sing from the hymn sheet in addressing the gaming and opinion of developers, support services and publishers. Not yet anyways.

In addition, the representation of the industry is top end heavy, filled with echelons of CEOs of various publishers and developers which do not always reflect true opinions of the grassroot developments.

On paper, it may look like there is extensive crossover, however they are different kettle of fish.
One is certainly not good for us and simplification is too idealistically simple as a solution offered on the table.

A more logical solution is for the two bodies to collaborate where possible on key issues.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Marie Foulston Innovation Executive, Screen WM/ Game Central

2 0 0.0
Feels like theres two key issues here, firstly the confusing array of national games networks, but also asking the question of who here is actually working on behalf of indie/grassroots companies. Its frequently argued that tax breaks and other areas of support (such as the recent GDC/UKTI grants) aren't accessible or in the interest of smaller developers who often cant afford to join these associations yet still have a voice that that needs to be heard.

In the West Midland's we've been working to establish a regional games network (gamecentral.org.uk) to throw yet another name into the hat. We're only a year old (but still have managed quite a bit in this space of time... http://www.gamecentral.org.uk/?p=279 ) and have noticed the area that we can affect and support the most is that of smaller developers, students and indies as well as looking towards areas such as pervasive/ cross platform developers who also often sit outside the support of larger bodies.

We're also 'proud' of the strong level of communication we have with the other regional networks such as Game Republic and Horizon (granted the latter also being national) and agree a unified voice is needed but that also maintaining local level networks of smaller companies, HE institutions through organisations such as Game Republic/ Game Horizon/ Game Central is a crucial part of this.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Marie Foulston on 3rd February 2011 12:54pm

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

954 183 0.2
Drinking soup with chopsticks are we?

(Off topic: Happy New year Dr. Wong)

Posted:3 years ago

#4
Nice analogy. May I add paddling with forks and bailing water with thimbles.

@ Marie: Agreed regional and local networks are vital, and augment larger trade bodies. Collectively, these form a stronger tributary of forces for true gaming innovation and growth. Small is beautiful. Big bloated and one leads to lack of creativity and a potential for poor representation, populist opinion goverend by big brother. No thanks! :)

@ Kingman - Happy Bunny New year to ya too

Posted:3 years ago

#5

John Bye Senior Game Designer, Future Games of London

481 453 0.9
Robert Troughton - "I definitely agree with [UKIE and TIGA] merging together... I'd like to see one body that represents all studios. I think TIGA, in the past, have concentrated on the large studios."

Surely that's an argument to reform TIGA to be more responsive to the needs of smaller studios and the staff that work there, rather than what currently seems like a focus on what's good for the owners and senior management of big established developers? Given that UKIE is geared towards big foreign-owned publishers and the old media distributors and retailers that service them, a merger is unlikely to give small independent UK developers more of a voice than the current arrangement.

Often the interests of developers are completely different to those of publishers, so having different trade bodies to represent them makes sense to me. Better to have two trade bodies that sometimes disagree than one that's inevitably going to end up acting against the interests of half its members on some issues.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

carri cunliffe GameHorizon Conference Director, GameHorizon

8 0 0.0
I think it makes sense for there to be one national trade organisation for the games sector to be charged with policy and lobbying. I agree with Marie Foulston re the local networks as these are important for ensuring companies are collaborating, sharing knowledge, accessing local talent and gaining international contacts. Games Central, GameHorizon, Game Republic work on a local level to help develop their games companies but we will also support a national trade organisation (and currently do). GameHorizon has national members as there was a demand from non regional companies who didn't have a local network and many of these are also members of UKIE or TIGA.

We currently support TIGA and UKIE and would like to collaborate more but it would make life easier if there was one trade body and I am sure that government feel the same. UKIE are members of GameHorizon and only last night presented to the GameHorizon members on the benefits of their membership.

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Here's a question for those of you saying there should be two different bodies. If that's the case, does that mean TIGA is incapable of representing both employers and employees, as it's looking to do?

Posted:3 years ago

#8
All very good points. Game Republic has always supported TIGA and other national organisations such as NESTA to ensure our members are represented in important UK-wide discussions on issues including tax breaks and the Livingstone-Hope skills review.

But I think what’s also important to note is that in my experience at Game Republic, the major platform-holders and multinational companies really value our ability to tap into the smaller indie games developers, who can often be more flexible and open to different business models. Being close to the ground and having that real personal relationship with the games company members is something that local networks can deliver very successfully.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief

196 198 1.0
Two years ago, I argued that TIGA and ELSPA (as was) should merge.

Ian Baverstock, outgoing chairman of TIGA, argued that they should stay separate. He convinced me. Do his arguments still stand (and do they convince you?)

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Ellliot Ward Studying Computer Games Programming, University of Derby

6 5 0.8
Wow there is allot of different questions being thrown around here but here goes.

The idea of TIGA and UKIE merging isn't in the best interest of the whole industry, they (TIGA and UKIE) are set up to back different parts of the industry so merging the two would cause conflict between the two. However the idea that there could be one single voice that could speak for the industry may not a stupid idea, it would mean that any communication to the government would be unified and the education of students that wish to enter the games industry can be better advised, but we need to look at the WHOLE games industry. TIGA and UKIE are designed to help the traditional style games industry, by which I mean large teams work to produce a large game to be sold in a shop like game or gamestation, but traditional games are no longer in control of the industry, with the huge rise in mini games and the studios that make them for facebook, smart phones, the new(ish) xbox XnA/indie market place and generally the new casual gamer that has popped up in recent years aren't. As an A-level student like myself looking at the possibilities that there could be for me after uni, starting a studio that concentrates on small games that can be produced in high volume and at a relatively low cost is an attractive option, as getting a traditional job straight from uni is looking less and less possible. For these small studios unifying TIGA and UKIE would probably mean less help.

Part of the problem is that people like Ed Vaizey (who was the person that asked Ian Livingstone to create a report on the UK games industry and the education system to feed the industry) the minister of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have to look at so many different proposals every day that they try to compartmentalise large subjects such as the games industry into simple blocks that they can digest. Therefore I think that there needs to be one central organisation set up within government to look at the whole games industry, and that is advised by the existing organisations such as TIGA, UKIE, games horizon, etc... this would allow the government to personally look at both ends of the game industry and the education system to train students for a career in the games industry (which I personally believe is very lacking at the moment).

p.s. I am still studying my A-levels and looking to go to uni next year so if i have made any errors please don't be too harsh on me, and i boggles my mind how what started a simple comment turn into this

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Iain Bennett Digital & Creative Industries specialist

1 0 0.0
Someone should snap up Mr Elliott Ward on a fast track management programme and sponsor his University studies.

Posted:3 years ago

#12

robert troughton UK General Manager, Epic Games

222 96 0.4
I can see what people are saying in the above and there are some very good points - I would strongly disagree, though, that TIGA/UKIE have the split that people imagine... right now, there isn't a body that is representing independent (non-publisher-owned) studios in a significant way.

From UKIE's talk at the Game Horizon event that Carri talked of above, they're looking for membership not just from publishers but also from developers.

Both TIGA and UKIE have been trying to add independents to their membership.

So, really, they're both fighting the same battleground with different methods and ideas... and together, they are making the industry seem disjoint and in disagreement. Add to that the fact that anyone who disagrees with their wants and needs is left to voice their opinion through messageboards and industry websites and things do look pretty disorganised.

Let's take Tax Breaks as an example. With the media furore around them, many of the people that I know were simply joining the crusade without even looking into whether they'd see a benefit from them. I spoke to several key people about the breaks and pretty quickly realised that the breaks wouldn't help two very important groups of people: First of all, the breaks wouldn't help smaller and independent studios. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the breaks didn't show any clear way in which the government would make a return... the breaks weren't designed to stem the flow of people heading out of the UK - and they certainly weren't designed to reverse that process.

The UK games industry doesn't need "tax breaks". It needs help, certainly, any monkey can tell you that - but reducing the amount of money that large studios are wasting creating AAA games that will never make a profit (despite their staff working 11-12 hour days for up to 18 months of crunch) ISN'T the way to help the industry... that is simply going to put the inevitable off for a couple of years. Investing in new technologies, new ideas, new profitable IP, new qualified graduates, creating environments where employees will want to stay - all of that will help. As long as our industry is being represented by CEOs of large development studios - many of which are foreign owned - we won't see anything radical enough to help us, though. Those same CEOs know that if such help came, a lot of their staff would jump off the 11 hour per day treadmill and do their own thing - and this scares them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by robert troughton on 4th February 2011 6:05am

Posted:3 years ago

#13
Although TIGA and UKIE have the same views on many issues they do differ in some important areas. Two examples spring to mind.

Firstly, when the BBFC banned Manhunt 2 in the UK in 2007, UKIE (then ELSPA) endorsed the decision, even though the BBFC had not even published its reasons for the ban (and it turned out that their reasons were laughably insufficient). See http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/el... In contrast, the then CEO of TIGA, Fred Hasson, appeared as a witness in support of Rockstar at the subsequent appeal, where the ban was ultimately lifted.

Secondly, when the UK government asked the UK games industry for evidence in support of games tax relief in 2009, TIGA submitted an 80+ page report in support of games tax relief, while UKIE / ELSPA submitted a three page letter raising some fairly bizarre concerns about TIGA’s proposal, while not suggesting any alternatives (you can read it in full at http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/20...

The two contrasting games tax relief submissions show quite clearly that the two organisations have different constituencies. There is nothing wrong with this - the games industry is big enough to accommodate different constituencies and different opinions, and it already compares favourably with the plethora of associations, boards and guilds in the film industry.

TIGA and UKIE can (and already do) speak in unison when they agree; but they do not always agree. And it is usually a good thing to have different voices expressing different opinions, even if this is slightly inconvenient for a few politicians.

Posted:3 years ago

#14
As a TIGA member, I think it's vital to have a group where independent UK digital developers and publishers can have a real say. TIGA provides some great opportunities for some fast-growing companies (in many ways, the green shoots of the UK industry) to meet up, help each other, share ideas and grow quicker. At every meeting, I see some brilliant UK companies with huge potential, which TIGA is doing it's part in nurturing.

I'd love to see UKIE and TIGA working closer together (and avoiding the 'soap opera' storylines which have definitely occured). UKIE has some extremely talented people on the board and both organisations do important work. However, I'm not convinced that an organisation whose board consists entirely of global publishers and platform holders will ever have an agenda which makes sense for indie developers and publishers.

The UK Games Industry has taken a battering over the last few years for many reasons, and it would be such a shame if the support and assistance that TIGA provides many exciting new companies was put at risk.

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Stefano Ronchi Indie Game Developer

50 0 0.0
Still, I'm sure an apple/pear pie combo would be most nice.

I think sadly I'm going to be cinic, and say the real issue is that neither company wants to share a slice of the pie: each wants to be the de facto most important/ruling body in this argument, and none are prepared to back up. Sad but true.

Posted:3 years ago

#16
I am currently chairman of UKIE and for the record I am not working for a multinational foreign owned company. We are a small developer cum publisher, some would say self publisher (Just Flight and Just Trains are two of our brands and our people work hard to bring these so called niche products to market), we also help get other developers and publishers fine work in front of the public by working with retailers and are helping Indie Devs sell on line ([link url=http://www.getgamesgo.com)]http://www.getgamesgo.com)[/link] via our Indie Games initiative launching today. We are small, but we have an important voice and crucially we take part.

The board at UKIE is a large one, but it believes in unity and is reaching out to our peers at TIGA, in a positve way and an inclusive way, so that we can all work more closely for the benefit of the UK industry. And, crucially, as Elliot says , we need to look out for the new emerging talent and help them (if they want it) by sharing knowledge, experience and resources.

As I have said on more than one occasion, there is enough work that UKIE and TIGA NEED to deliver against, NOW, a united body would make more sense on a practical and fiscal level. But it MUST be a democracy. It MUST be one member one vote and above all it has to respect the needs of both sets of members as well as looking out for the new entrants who would see the benefit of being members, big and small. Whilst this may sound all very flowery and idealistic to some, I can assure you all that I have spent hundreds of hours listening and talking to many parties. Get everyone who is a member and who is interested in a room and let's talk, listen, debate and a, trying to bring people together and agree some steps taken together. If the 'date' ends up with 'engagement' and then 'marriage' great, but all this 'look at his shoes', 'what sort of haircut is that?', 'what sort of accent is that' stuff, has no place in an exciting, creative and challenging industry such as this.

There is no catch. There is nothing to fear, except fear itself. Oh, and leave the egos at the door ;-))

Posted:3 years ago

#17
I believe a single unified trade body cannot fully address concerns of various interest from the grassroot indies, developers, publishers and retail.

Lets hypothetically say there is a unified body. Even within it, there will be naturally schisms in opinion, and simply put, the amount of hand wrangling on any game related issue will have their own natural opinions. In addition, the following apparent pitfalls of a larger unfied body are as follows

1/ inefficiency: bigger means more beauracracy and waste. eg. ex govertment whitehall, european govertment (do you know your local MEP, and what the heck are they really doing for you?).

2/ One package fits all: this is a idealistic ideal. I can assure you, it might seem nice an convenient for whitehall relations but in reality, the opinions of developers will never truly be represented effectively. Simply put, we are many disparate people with our own creative voices. The successive govertments have not effectively addressed the public on key issues, and I highly doubt UKs ongoing issues are goign to be neatly solved with one true voice/body. Far better to have multiple voices, having healthy debate lobbying govertment from all angles, assualting them everyday, every night until tru representation and negotiation has been achieved.

3/ Representation: Members of both parties should have a crucial vote and say in most issue rather than jsut representation through a board of members. Will this one true voice have such democracy? Much like having different supermarkets and local grocers to cater to the discerning public, we should have choice. Choice and variety is good. They are what provide the bedrock of creativity in UK. Just look at the great talents from England, Scotland and wales. We're all slightly different due to your locality, flavour, culture and way of education and life.

Devolution. Thats what its all about.

I believe its good to have unity. A strong united front and consensual debate on key issues.
I just dont believe its through one body.

Posted:3 years ago

#18
I like devolution as a concept, small is beautiful , but consider this:-

1) Currently 2 trade bodies - both with overheads - make one and either deliver more value for less or cut costs. Either way it cuts out any duplication
2) Be a mouthpiece for as many voices as are there. Encourage and stimulate debate, information and knowledge share and diversity. It can work, and there may be issues to which the unified body cannot agree a position on. Then you defer to member companies to 'sign the accord/petition/letter to gov/whatever - sometimes a harmonious position just cannot be agreed upon.
3) More member engagement - both organisations have tradtionally been lax at this - things are changing, but not quick enough. Build a new, fresh member focused constitution and ensure it is one member one vote. Keep the board elections fresh and vital. Work out a business model that is fair and equitable and also encourages large to help small - so whilst fees may vary, voice does not.
4) Don't let any politicians think this is their idea - it is ours!

Anyway, just my thoughts. Keep the faith brothers and sisters

Posted:3 years ago

#19
@ Andy - All valid points. The thing is there are pros/cons for a unified/non unified body.
Lets see what the outcome of the talks result. Perhaps there may be headway/ or some key issues that may reach good compromise. Perhaps, a unified group but keeping twin trade organization independant may be a thrid option.

Posted:3 years ago

#20

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Ah, Just Flight. If only you would do an A-37 add on!

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Ellliot Ward Studying Computer Games Programming, University of Derby

6 5 0.8
Just a quick note Andy your profile says you work for the Mastertronic group which includes Sold Out, i think our definitions of small business are a little different.

But it will be nice to see some more unity in the UK games industry so that we have a chance at staying afloat and not loosing all our talent to the rest of the world. But Dr. Wong has a point, small means that everyone can be included and by simply merging UKIE and TIGA the grass roots studios which i'm guessing aren't going to be well represented at the meetings/debates that you mentioned Andy are going to continue to struggle, equally if the focus shifts totally to the grass roots companies then the AAA studios will be left without support, there needs to be a happy medium that can look at both ends of the spectrum.

p.s. I think it is crazy that i am speaking to people like the chairmen of UKIE while still doing my A-levels, and thanks Iain Bennett i agree just on a developer program not management

Posted:3 years ago

#22

Paul Durrant Director of Business Development, University of Abertay Dundee

6 1 0.2
The most important suggestion in Andy Payne's sensible posting is the possibility of creating a single mouthpiece for the two bodies. If used responsibly such a strategy could allow a diversity of viewpoints to be expressed regarding particular issues, but still be presented as a professional briefing for press, advisers and Ministers. In reality it is rare that the issues faced by both organisations are extremely polarised, so a considered and balanced view could be achieved in many cases. If necessary, some particular issues could be ruled out, but that would be a shame. The mouthpiece could be piloted for a while without any significant erosion of the independence (in terms of membership, remit, finances, staffing etc) of the two bodies. If the pilot ends up being an absolute disaster with press releases delayed for weeks whilst the haggling goes on then scrap the idea. Nothing much lost - and quite a bit gained in terms of the merger speculation. If it works, then there would be options to simply retain the single mouthpiece or take further steps to consolidate - but all through the discussions normal service could be maintained via the joint briefings. Nothing need restrict the ability of the two organisations to make general press releases about activities and other member-focused opportunities either. The sooner we remove the opportunity for politicians (of any party) to sidestep issues on the basis that there isn't a single voice, the better. Perhaps we ought to send you out to Egypt Andy, I think there is another little wrangle there that needs to be resolved and I'm sure you could bask in some Blair-like global-peacemaker-glow on your triumphant return.....

Posted:3 years ago

#23
@Dr Chee - I hear you. I think that the current aims of UKIE and TIGA are largely similar, whereas a few years back, they were different. But, you and others are right, just because there may (or may not ) be common ground between the 2 existing bodies, does not mean they are set up or capable of lookig out for the smaller guys. I would like to think it could, but would want specific clauses written into any constitution to ensure future proofing from an equity and share of voice perspective. That is my personal view of course.
@ Fran - we hear you...A DragonFly add on, let me see what the men that make those calls say!
@Elliot - it is a pleasure to exchange views. I am never one to scuttle away in some ivory tower. We do own Sold Out, but in the scheme of things we are a small publisher, minute when compared to my peers on the UKIE board. It keeps us hungry, focused and hopefully straight!!
@Paul - thanks for the faith, not so sure I would ever fancy a Blair like visage though. Working together for the benefit of both memberships is surely the right thing to kick off. Personally, I always think that there should be a responsibility taken by established players to ensure they help new entrants. Yes, business is all very competitive, but here in the UK we are known for our collaboration and camraderie, unlike other nations I could mention.

BTW - if anyone fancies joinging GamesAid, what a way to show collaboration is the way forward. Feel the love at http://www.gamesaid.org
Have a good weekend one and all.

Posted:3 years ago

#24

John Bye Senior Game Designer, Future Games of London

481 453 0.9
Paul's post makes me think that maybe the better solution is to have an umbrella organisation that has UKIE, TIGA, IGDA, GameHorizon etc as members and allows the industry to speak with a unified voice when it is genuinely united, but still allows the different bodies to remain independent and campaign individually on the matters that are important to them and where differences of opinion and interest do exist. It could also act as a more formal means of discussion between different trade bodies and sectors of the industry, so that where there are differences we can talk them out and avoid stepping on each others' toes, like UKIE and TIGA did on tax breaks.

Posted:3 years ago

#25
Aha. Umbrella Group.
I like that. Seems like an agreeable 3rd option.
And if everything doesnt work out, we can get some resident evil zombies to work our frustrations out onto.

Posted:3 years ago

#26

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