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PM boasts UK games industry is "leading the way" in Europe

UPDATE: TIGA welcomes positive comments from Brown and urges tax break commitment

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has singled the UK games industry out as one of the country's most successful sectors, saying that it is "leading the way" in Europe.

Speaking in a podcast ahead of the start of the Global Investment Conference in London yesterday, Brown acknowledged the UK games industry alongside life sciences, renewable energy and advanced engineering as an area the country is excelling in.

"We're leading the way in creative industries: by far the biggest producer of computer games in Europe," he said.

"And we're leading the way in digital communications. In a country with only one per cent of the world's population, more than a third of all internet traffic is routed through UK servers.

Speaking at the conference yesterday, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson added: "The investors here today say that the UK is the best place in Europe to do business.

"In Europe, we have the biggest industries for life sciences, financial services, creative industries and ICT. We are also the number one choice for European headquarters.

"The UK Government is committed to building on these strengths and has acted strategically to actively boost growth sectors. We want investors to grow their business from the UK, thereby creating jobs and supporting the global economic recovery."

*UPDATE: Trade association TIGA has responded to Brown's comments, welcoming his positivity while also calling for him to act quickly on the introduction of tax breaks for the UK industry.

"We warmly welcome Prime Minster Gordon Brown's comments and urge him to act quickly to introduce a Games Tax Relief as outlined by TIGA2, for the UK games development industry in the coming Budget," said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson.

"TIGA has made repeated representations to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and to HM Treasury, setting out the case for Games Tax Relief.

"We hope that the support of the Prime Minister will ensure a commitment by the Government to the introduction of Games Tax Relief and so guarantee that the UK video games industry remains world leading."

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Latest comments (24)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 10 years ago
Here's an idea then: give the developers in the UK a tax break. Set up an industry body which aids and helps fund upstart and indie developers. The games industry in the UK is an extremely prosperous and forward-thinking sector, and it's about time it was given proper recognition and support from the government.
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Alex Wright-Manning Head of Recruitment, Splash Damage Ltd10 years ago
Righto then Gordon, time to stop slapping your staff around and put our money where your mouth is.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D10 years ago
Indeed. Scumbag.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Fran Mulhern on 23rd February 2010 12:47pm

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Show all comments (24)
Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games10 years ago
"The UK Government is committed to building on these strengths and has acted strategically to actively boost growth sectors."

Say what?
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Brendan Tinnelly Client Solutions Manager (Console/MMO), Facebook10 years ago
It's still dwarfed by some /cities/ in North America. If the industry is succeeding in the UK, it is in spite of the government, not because of it.
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Damien Robson Studying Games Software Development, University of Sunderland10 years ago
The industry may be succeeding, but it's still quite a challenge to get established/noticed in the industry in the UK, especially for the smaller games houses. This is where a lot of the tax breaks should come.
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Tom Pedalino QA Lead/Designer, Double Eleven10 years ago
Does seem a bit strange given that in my opinon the UK games industry seems to be stagnating and the government seem quite happy to sit back and watch all the best talent in the country get picked up by studios in France and Canada, bravo Mr. Brown.
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Petr Tomicek Intern Programmer, The Creative Assembly10 years ago
One thing that most big publishers said is the problem is the high cost of living and developing in UK and that tax break would bring UK back to competition for investment. I can't believe Brown can go in front of investors and tell them everything is great, please invest when its definitely not OK.

Brown should really put the money where his mouth is and make UK an attractive place to invest in.
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Aidan Fitzpatrick Artist 10 years ago
I don't get it, is he somehow trying to claim a modicum of credit for this success?
It's generally accepted within the industry itself that whatever success there is, is in spite of the government rather than due to any measures or aid provided by the state.

Tax break much Gordon?
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chris savage HR Administrator & Recruitment Coordinator, Babel Media10 years ago
Ditto on the Tax breaks already mentioned. Looks like he is going the wrong way about garnering extra support
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 10 years ago
This is hilarious he was approached about the issue of game development in the UK before and he couldn't give a rats. It just wasn't important enough.

Now he comes along and says how we are leading, yet if he values development here so much, how about some backup then? What have you been trying to do to support us here exactly? Seems like he is just trying to take some credit of something he has never lifted a finger for.

Trying to change the subject from alleged staff bullying me thinks.
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Alex Wright-Manning Head of Recruitment, Splash Damage Ltd10 years ago
Gordon's always had one eye on the industry. Albeit a glass one. That he can't see out of.
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Matthew Harrington Programmer/ game designer 10 years ago
yeh totally agree about the tax break it's all good saying were the best in europe and ignoring the fact that canada overtook us because of tax-breaks.
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Benjamin Ryalls Business Development Manager, Side10 years ago
Hollow words again. Brown doesn't care about our industry or he would have done something by now. Let's hope the Tories take a more direct approach and give us the tax breaks when they get in.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 10 years ago
Benjamin, I seriously doubt any leader we'll get here at the moment would care much more about the games industry. I'm sure all the leaders we're seeing out there would say shallow words about our great industry but not change anything.
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Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games10 years ago
As I said to a friend, this is just a pre-election nod and a wink. He talks a lot but says nothing.
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Alex Wright-Manning Head of Recruitment, Splash Damage Ltd10 years ago
I'm doing my level best not to launch into a full tirade Antony. This small dig has sated my need. For the moment......
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve10 years ago
I'll believe him when he turns these words into actions, we've had "promises" and "intention" made by both Labour and Conservative but I've yet to see any serious commitment.
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And just last week David Cameron pledged his support for the games industry, I'm thinking both parties are just trying to get on the side of gamers and industry workers to net themselves more votes.
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Ryan Davies composer, sound designer, audio engineer 10 years ago
I hate to be the spanner in the works here but the government do offer start-ups the opportunity to get lot of financing from government grants and they offer support, business incubation.
Now granted the government doesn't make these grants easy to find or to apply for, but, if you are determined to succeed there is some government help out there for game devs.
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Nik Love-Gittins Senior Character Artist, FreeStyleGames10 years ago
@Jospeh - Would that be the same David Cameron that not too long ago attacked the games industry for causing youths to be violent ? 2 faced ? Or simply electioneering ?
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Michael Abraham game designer 10 years ago
would love to see some tax breaks coming, but i have to laugh when people say he should put the money where his mouth is. the question is "what money?" - labour's been messing about with the country's money for quite a while. and let's be honest, even if labour gave out a tax break, the tories (or whoever wins) would just snap it back up the second they come into power in the next election. if they get any trouble they could simply do the old media frenzy of games=violence in youths to get the grey-army support.

at best, what i get from what he says is that the "little people" should do the work to strengthen the industry in the country, whilst the politicians take all the credit.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Michael Abraham on 24th February 2010 12:40pm

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Nik Love-Gittins Senior Character Artist, FreeStyleGames10 years ago
"at best, what i get from what he says is that the "little people" should do the work to strengthen the industry in the country, whilst the politicians take all the credit."

Couldn't agree with you more.....
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@Nik thats my point exactly. David Cameron has contradicted himself big time.
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