UKIE 'moves on' in TIGA merger debate

Association's board is "deeply disappointed" but hopes to work with TIGA in future

Following last week's decision by TIGA not to hold formal talks with UKIE over a possible merger, the latter trade association has released a statement expressing its disappointment, but also its desire to move on and work with the developer group in the future.

UKIE's board also offered thanks to TIGA CEO Richard Wilson for his time with informal talks, and set out five of the areas that it is currently engaged in at the present moment.

"The board of UKIE are deeply disappointed that TIGA have ruled out potential talks to discuss forming one trade body to represent the entire UK games industry," read the statement. "We would like to thank the TIGA board for their time and consideration of the matter and their CEO for informal talks and meetings over the past six months.

"The board of UKIE are deeply disappointed that TIGA have ruled out potential talks to discuss forming one trade body to represent the entire UK games industry."

"Furthermore UKIE's board hopes that both trade associations can and will work together on the key issues that the industry faces in the very near future. We have had a good track record of working together with TIGA, the latest example being our sharing of UKIE's evidence for the government's Growth Review back in December and hope that this collaborative working can continue, albeit as two separate associations for now."

Among those initiatives in progress, the statement noted the implementation of the Livingstone Hope Review, continued lobbying of the government as part of a UK growth strategy, the development of digital sales data and issues regarding child safety, including the PEGI ratings system.

Last week's public statement by TIGA put an end to months of speculation surrounding a possible merger of the two bodies, whose relationship in the past has been somewhat problematic - a point noted to by numerous overseas industry figures over the past couple of years.

While Eidos life president Ian Livingstone, at the launch of the Livingstone Hope Review last month, expressed a desire to see the industry speak with one voice, he stopped short of publicly suggesting a merger - although that is something that the UK government has mooted previously.

However, with that issue now off the table it will be hoped by many in the UK industry that the two bodies can put any past differences to one side in order to focus on supporting the region's development as a whole.

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