TIGA expands membership remit

Individuals as well as companies able to join trade association as of Autumn

Games industry trade association TIGA has announced plans to open its doors to individual membership.

Whereas previously only businesses and organisations were eligible to join, as of this Autumn anyone working in the games industry may apply for membership.

Claimed TIGA boss Dr Richard Wilson, "We now have over 160 company members from across the UK. Our members include not just established independent developers and publisher owned studios but also international games publishers, small indie-studios, start-ups, creative agencies, universities and training companies, art, audio and motion capture specialists as well as law firms, accountancy firms and other service providers.

"Individual membership will broaden our reach even further, meaning that anyone working in the games industry or trying to start a career in the games industry can benefit from TIGA services. We intend to support the next wave of creative individuals and successful interactive companies in the UK."

Added Monumental Games COO and TIGA board member Paul Mayze, "Individual membership will allow anyone working in the games industry to benefit from TIGA’s expertise, benefits and services.

"The UK games industry is becoming increasingly diverse and it is important that the whole community is served by an energetic, passionate trade body that is committed to strengthening the UK sector as a whole."

Benefits of individual membership include networking, attendance of expert seminars, tradeshow discounts and career assistance.

Further details are promised soon.

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Latest comments (10)

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
Until TIGA introduces a quality of life charter that its members need to abide by, I really don't see the point of individuals joining it. Remember, this is the TIGA that previously advertised a seminar on offshoring back in (I think) Feb. I believe it was something like "Going global! Can you save money through offshoring?"

Interesting, eh?

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Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games7 years ago
What Fran said.
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard7 years ago
The Quality of Life charter is something that I'd really like to see added as a condition of any government support to the games industry... developers have been treated badly by the industry for far too many years. If TIGA is to support the industry, they should really make this one of their priorities. It was worrying to note that, in their recent "request-list" for government support, it sounded like they may be aiming for the opposite..? (Note point 26 here: ... "26 Maintain a relatively lightly regulated labour market in order to enable UK games businesses to operate as flexibly as possible.")

With the international aspect of TIGA arising again, I'd really like to see a little consistency to what they're doing... the front page of their website states: "TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry" ... so let's see it support the UK industry before the International one.
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Mark Hughes Software Developer, 4J Studios7 years ago
This'll be the same TIGA that backs Train2Game.

I've a friend who's had first hand experience of them coming round to their house and giving their 16 year old son 3 hours of hard sell to sign up to a huge Barclays loan to fund their noddy games design course.
I lost any respect I had for TIGA when they got involved with that mob.
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Paul Mayze Chief Operating Officer, Monumental Games7 years ago
Some aspects of the marketing of Train2Game has raised concerns before now (not the course content however - although if anyone has issues regarding that I'd like to hear them) - so this is something that they (i.e. Train2Game) need to address if they haven't done so already.

Fran and Robert - This is the feedback that we need. TIGA does exist to represent the UK games industry, so if our actions don't seem consistent with that then, well, that's going to need to be addressed too. Please keep all feedback coming so that we know what we have to do to serve the interests of the individuals that make up the industry. (I can see a quality of life debate in the not-too-distant...)
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard7 years ago
Paul, thanks for the reply - are you on the TIGA board?

QoL has long been an issue that the industry needed to look at - some companies have operated very successfully indeed with shorter working hours and no "expected" overtime working etc (Team 17 is a shining example from everything that I've heard - and here at Pitbull we're aiming to do the same)...
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Tom Hully Studying Business Information Systems, University of Portsmouth7 years ago
Very interesting reading so far. I'm currently on an IT/business degree, but want to move into the games industry in the QA/Testing area upon graduation rather than more mainstream IT. I had strongly considered enrolling on a video/computer games course and am potentially regretting that choice from my current position, as I now feel that IT was maybe the wrong area to go into for me.

From what Fran/Paul/Robert have said so far, it seems that a QoL charter is what is missing from TIGA and even I feel that some companies really need to gain some elements of - one testing vacancy I saw recently & applied for was offering only zero-hour contracts from the get-go, with "two weeks advance notice of upcoming shift requirements"; this is from a major global publisher.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
Well, it's partly that TIGA needs to work out who they represent, the studios, the studios' employees or both. They're not the same. And I know you could say that most things that benefit a business also benefit the employees, but that's not quite true: as Robert pointed out, the lightly regulated labour force idea is one example. In fact, if you look at TIGA's industry manifesto, then nearly all points are aimed at studios themselves.

It's going to be a really fine line to tread, and I'm not sure TIGA can really do it tbh. For example, if TIGA does come up with a Quality of Life Charter (let's call it that), and a studio doesn't live up to it, what happens? Can the employees complain to TIGA? Will TIGA run some kind of confidential helpline for employees? Or will it be a toothless charter that looks good on paper but is ineffective in practice?

Paul, TIGA should be considering adding several new board members to represent the interest of individual developers. Unless I'm mistaken, all the current board members are either studio owners or very senior management. If TIGA is serious about representing individuals, why not give them a voice on the board? Just a thought.

Also, one other thing, TIGA's tax breaks campaign. To get around some of the downsides of, say, the Quebec tax breaks, why can't TIGA advocate a system whereby tax breaks are available to indigenous studios who retain ownership of whatever IP they create? That would help avoid the situation where in Montreal Quebec taxpayers (like my wife's side of the family) are effectively subsidising the creation of IP for a foreign studio, the profits of which (and quite possibly the IP itself in future) are sent overseas. Just a thought. The big studios - Ubisoft, EA etc - don't need our money. It's the smaller studios, the ones who see the UK as home, that we really need to focus on supporting.

All just IMO, obviously.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Fran Mulhern on 31st August 2010 3:42pm

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@ Fran - I've mentioned in passing to Richard that TIGA require additional board members that can truly reflect a broad cross section and breadth of spectrum to be truly representative of the games industry. not just heads of publishers/large developers.

It should aim to encompass Business strategists, Services, Indies, Casual, Hard core, Online developers, etc. Something really comprehensive to allow a united dialog between parties, have local clusters of skill and knowledge and so forth.

A QoL charter could be interesting starting from the views of apprenticeship/work experience/internships vs labour market regulations
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Gareth Lewis freelancer 7 years ago
This strikes me as a somewhat strange move by a trade association, given that trade associations normally exist for employers rather than employees and I can see where the comments are coming from. The article mentions TIGA expertise in networking and so on, but how will this serve the needs of employees? As a potential subscriber / user of TIGA's new services I'd like to know this before I part with my hard earned cash.

As for QoL, I do feel that this is an issue that will run and run. We've seen IGDA try (and fail spectacularly) to deal with professional standards in the industry and I do feel that the industry will only ever limp towards a work/life balance due to the project-based nature of the work it tends to engage in and all staff can do is to vote with their feet.
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