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Kotick: We need incentives to invest in UK

Activision boss wants Govt support for development; Sony may shift new investment overseas

Activision's outspoken CEO Bobby Kotick has said for the company to continue to invest in the UK games sector it needs incentives along the lines of those available in other regions.

The publisher has acquired two studios in the UK, DJ Hero developer FreeStyleGames and Project Gotham Racing and Blur team Bizarre Creations.

"For us to continue to invest in the UK there needs to be an incentive provided for us to do so," Kotick told the Financial Times.

"The talent pool in the UK is among the best in the world for what we do. But we really need to see some more incentives. We are seeing great incentives in Canada, Singapore and eastern bloc countries."

Last week Chancellor George Osborne scrapped plans for tax relief in the UK after years of campaigning by developer association TIGA and publisher group ELSPA.

Activision joined TIGA this week to continue to apply pressure in government circles and push for incentives for regional game development.

Sony's Ray Maguire has also spoken out about the situation, suggesting that any future investment in the UK may be more beneficial for the format holder if invested in another country.

"The existing plans will continue but any further new developments would have to be looked at. Maybe something that was planned for the UK would go abroad now," he said.

Maguire suggested that Malta is currently looking into the the possibility of offering tax relief in a bid to lure talent to the region.

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Latest comments (11)

Ashley Tarver Indie 6 years ago
That's alright. The UK will keep starting up developers, Kotick will keep buying them.
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James Battersby Studying MSc Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallam University6 years ago
The unfortunate truth of the situation. Such a pity.
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Jason Avent VP, Studio Head, NaturalMotion6 years ago
Malta? Sounds great. While we're at it, what's the tax situation like in the Carribbean or the Maldives? :)
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Show all comments (11)
Phil Williams principle artist, Black Rock Studio6 years ago
It's a shame the industry is in such a bad way in oz...didn't their goverment invest heavily...doesn't seem to have worked!
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D6 years ago
If Malta wants to develop a games industry, then the industry here had better look out. 3 hours from London. English speaking. An island with a reputation for quality of life. Great weather. EU member so work permits aren't an issue, you can move straight over and start.

Yep, if Malta really wants to attract games studios, I have a feeling that UK studios (along with most other European studios tbh) won't quite know what's hit them.
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Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games6 years ago
I know Malta fairly well (have family there). I would be wary.

They are being very ambitious and have a long way to go before they would be able to attract a large significant employer to the region. IT Services for one leaves a lot to be desired. It would be expensive to start up there, there is no typical talent pool there other than online gambling companies. An employer moving to the region would have to bring in everyone from abroad. I wont even mention the availibility and price of computers etc.

That and in Malta they take 10 years to discuss something before anything happens if at all :)
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
If Malta starts this up I wonder what will happen to this whole tax break drama that's going on here, will be interesting if and when the time comes.
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Joe Martin Journalism 6 years ago
Big publishers in "We want to pay less tax" shocker.
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Ashley Tarver Indie 6 years ago
@Russ ... english speaking, 3 hours away, sun, sea and subroutines ... I'm sold already :)
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Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
@James - is Brighton not hot enough for you!
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James Battersby Studying MSc Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallam University6 years ago
@Josef: Once I graduate in October I'll work anywhere but given how hard it is to get into the industry it would be nice for more companies to be based in the UK rather than considering emigration in an effort to get my foot in the door.
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