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Eutechnyx: "You can't replace vision with inexpensive labour"

US boss Eckert thinks incentives are a mixed blessing - and says microtransactions are "human nature"

Todd Eckert, director of Eutechnyx in North America, has claimed that while incentives such as tax relief are important for studios, they are no substitute for talent.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz recently, he discussed the current controversy surrounding Canada offering tax breaks while the UK did not. "Because Canada gives massive incentives in Montreal, we looked to Montreal for opening a studio," he revealed.

"And the issue is not whether or not the incentives work, but whether or not we're going to find anybody that we can work with over there, because they're all gobbled up by Ubisoft and the like.

"So I think incentives are very, very important - that being said I think some of the most interesting work in the world comes out of the UK. And you can't replace vision with inexpensive labour."

He drew reference to the UK movie industry's climate during his time as producer on the Joy Division movie Control. "The UK in general had no incentives when we were doing it, so we had the sound guy from Harry Potter, because he wasn't working and didn't want to go to Eastern Europe."

However, he remained critical of the UK treasury's decision to can tax relief. "While vision is hugely important, I feel that the UK government is not going to solve its overall ills by trying to cut off the only industries that remain to it. If you move to an entirely service-based economy you will fail. Giant mistake."

Eckert also discussed the importance of microtransactions as a new business model for future Eutechynx projects. He compared next game Auto Club Revolution, a free-to-play MMO in which specific models of cars and accoutrements can be purchased, to the music industry's shift to downloads.

"Even though iTunes is a lousy interface and it's impossible to find anything, if you know what you're looking for you still get to buy the two songs that you like and you get to get rid of everything else," he said. "It's the same with the new game model.

"You don't have to spend the £50 to buy the whole thing when all you care about is a segmented portion of the gameplay. You buy the assets that are meaningful to you, and history shows that people who pay in game wind up paying much more than they would if they were just purchasing just a game in a box in-store. So for me it's a logical progression of the way the human mind works."

The full interview with Todd Eckert is available here.

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