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Canadian ESA: "All's fair in love and war"

Mon 19 Jul 2010 10:29am GMT / 6:29am EDT / 3:29am PDT
Politics

"We'll take the best and the brightest," says Parr as Vaizey downplays threat to UK industry

Danielle Parr, executive director of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, has stated the nation's intent to take "the best and the brightest" of Britain's developers, claiming "all's fair in love and war."

Speaking to the BBC's Politics Show as part of a special report at Develop last week, a laughing and smiling Parr seemed unconcerned by the danger Canada's attempts to attract developers and investment presented to this country's videogame industry.

"A lot of people are looking at Canada and saying how are they doing this, they're taking all our jobs, how are they attracting our investment and we're not able to keep them here," she said.

"But as they say, all's fair in love and war. We're just simply trying to promote the videogame industry in general, promote what Canada has to offer. And we'll take the best and the brightest, we'll take your investment," she said, before an outburst of laughter.

"We've as a nation made it a priority and invested a lot in this industry and we're hoping it'll pay off with our continued growth and our continued dominance in the videogame space."

The BBC also spoke to minister Ed Vaizey following his non-committal keynote address concerning the cancellation of planned tax relief for the UK games industry. "The Canadian Government has made a decision to get behind the videogame industry and to create a videogames industry virtually out of nothing," said Vaizey.



"But I think that itís still a relatively level playing field, because while the Canadians are putting in a lot of direct financial support, itís very hard to create the kind of ecology that we have in this country. Videogames have been around for fifty years and we've been at the forefront of video games development in this country, and thatís very hard to replicate."

TIGA boss Richard Wilson claimed, "We're competing on a very uneven playing field, the Canadians are a major threat to our industry," while GameHorizon's Carrie Cunliffe confirmed that "they've phoned people."

Added Prem Gyani of Quickstart Global: "The Canadians are really serious about this. They're doing everything right."

The Politics show described the situation as "they're stealing our nerds, they're poaching our geeks" in a jocular report that also featured a recreation of the original Doom, as starring pixellated Mounties.

15 Comments

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

83 32 0.4
It is worrying at the sheer difference in language between Danielle Parr and Ed Vaizey. Would it be possible someone makes sure this article gets put in front of his face?

Because then he might realise how utterly stupid comments like this are:

"But I think that itís still a relatively level playing field, because while the Canadians are putting in a lot of direct financial support, itís very hard to create the kind of ecology that we have in this country. Videogames have been around for fifty years and we've been at the forefront of video games development in this country, and thatís very hard to replicate."

It just shows he doesn't 'get it'. He is not wrong when he says "been", past tense, because we are slipping toward the back. They are not 'replicating' our industry, they already have and now they are simply trying to take the best of whats left.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Russell Watson on 19th July 2010 12:07pm

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Private
Industry

1,176 182 0.2
"relatively level playing field"

Really? If I remember correct Ubi Soft alone made over 2000 jobs in Canada by opening multiple offices.

Posted:4 years ago

#2
Yeah, Vaizey's comments are a joke. I wonder who told him to say that? Whoever it is, they need sacking - they've made him look like an absolute idiot.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Darren Adams
Managing Director

221 376 1.7
I have said it before and I will say it again 'Our government is stuck in the 1800's and still thinks our country is a major financial player (yea right), ignoring the UK games industryís potential because they just don't get it. The funny thing is that they will never understand it until another 20-30 years have passed and the game players of yesterday become the politicians of tomorrow. Which by then it will probably be too late.

I have never had any faith in any of the 3 jokes we have for political parties and the only way the games industry is going to level the playing field is off its own back. Stop begging at the knees of these imbeciles who think that itís ok to give bank bosses billions of pounds in bonuses even after what they did, yet won't lift a finger to the most important industry that the UK has to offer now and in the future. We would probably have a better chance of setting up funds to help the UK's developers ourselves then waiting for these muppets to do anything. Just remember to bank offshore so the fools don't get any of the hard earned money. ;)

Perhaps Mr Vaizey would have been better off deporting all our talent to Canada and save them the hassle of having to tempt them abroad. Probably would have had the same effect.

As Mr Brewster said once 'vote for none of the above'....

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 19th July 2010 4:56pm

Posted:4 years ago

#4
Lets realistically pretend the govt is never going to help us. (it doesnt mean there is not a case for tax breaks, however there are other fronts to attack and advance from)

Thus we need to band together to help ourselves. Multiple game companies bandied together , some shared tech/talent, its sufficient to develop a very nice internal economy, being able to twin with another studio can help as well.

Lastly, having some decent roots with our next gen of artist, programmers, audio and 3D folk at the Educational level (again all can be achieved via NGOs and trade bodies) allows us to invest in our youngest brightest things.

This is the path I feel we need to push over the next 5 years.

Posted:4 years ago

#5
Its all very well saying we have the people - we DID but a lot of the great Brit are moving to Canada, the US and Australia. We have a great team in the UK but if the government had a brain we would be twice the size, rather than growing elsewhere. Just having an idea is not enough, actually doing this is what matter. Britain had the great creators (and still has some) but funding and support makes the difference. Ask Quebec which probably has more staff in games than the whole of the UK now. So be a proper conservative government and support businesses that create jobs, make money and therefore pay taxes.

Posted:4 years ago

#6
Its all very well saying we have the people - we DID but a lot of the great Brit are moving to Canada, the US and Australia. We have a great team in the UK but if the government had a brain we would be twice the size, rather than growing elsewhere. Just having an idea is not enough, actually doing this is what matter. Britain had the great creators (and still has some) but funding and support makes the difference. Ask Quebec which probably has more staff in games than the whole of the UK now. So be a proper conservative government and support businesses that create jobs, make money and therefore pay taxes.

Posted:4 years ago

#7
@Mark - I totally agree with your sentiment and I'm saying with regards to brains, lets assume the government doesnt have a cerbral cortex to contemplate the global market issue or plan for the now/future.

In more simpilistic terms, whats to stop the games sector from "carpooling" the existing talent (indies, middleware, service sector and publisher/devs) & resources, form (north, middle and south) alliances, and thus create a games corridor and nexus points rampant with existing talent, recruiting and investing new talent and forcing the culture of games entertainment as what makes Brittania cool.

Posted:4 years ago

#8
If you read the speech by David Gault, the Condem coalition talk about our advantages in the big economic world being 'language and law', the words also laud ex Chancellor under Thatcher, Nigel Lawson's ideology. This stuff is stuck in the 1950's. Free Market economics are all very well if you are a consumer, over time the best product and price should 'out'. Problem is that leaves the UK riddled with tumbleweed and little else. The Candians are laughing they really cannot believe what a walk over this whole debacle is. I will try and dig those words out, it wl

Posted:4 years ago

#9
If you read the speech by David Gault, the Condem coalition talk about our advantages in the big economic world being 'language and law', the words also laud ex Chancellor under Thatcher, Nigel Lawson's ideology. This stuff is stuck in the 1950's. Free Market economics are all very well if you are a consumer, over time the best product and price should 'out'. Problem is that leaves the UK riddled with tumbleweed and little else. The Candians are laughing they really cannot believe what a walk over this whole debacle is. I will try and dig those words out, it will make you cry, it really will

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

943 157 0.2
"But I think that itís still a relatively level playing field, because while the Canadians are putting in a lot of direct financial support, itís very hard to create the kind of ecology that we have in this country. Videogames have been around for fifty years and we've been at the forefront of video games development in this country, and thatís very hard to replicate."

Wow...I'm absolutely speechless...

Posted:4 years ago

#11
Vaizey England home goal if you ask me.

Posted:4 years ago

#12

Nik Love-Gittins
Senior Character Artist

59 27 0.5
"they're stealing our nerds, they're poaching our geeks"

Lovely. No-one outside the industry is going to take it seriously when the BBC comes out with lines like that.

If it was bankers or scientists they'd be up in arms.
Mofo's....

Posted:4 years ago

#13

Tamir Ibrahim
Programmer

75 56 0.7
@Nik - I'm glad someone else noticed. That line says it all really and i'm surprised that no one else has mentioned it. Does that sound like a news report that takes the situation seriously?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tamir Ibrahim on 20th July 2010 2:26pm

Posted:4 years ago

#14
@ Nik & Tamir

Actually, I'll admit that one escaped me, but excellent point.

Posted:4 years ago

#15

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