Tax breaks won't help the UK gaming industry, says the owner and creative director of Splash Damage, Paul Wedgwood. He insists instead that studios and publishers must offer better wages and employee benefits.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Wedgwood said he was irritated by calls from Tiga and ELSPA for tax breaks, saying it wasn't needed and gave a distorted image on the state of the UK's games industry.
"I absolutely love game development in the UK - I just don't like all this rubbish about us needing charitable handouts to be successful as an industry, it's a complete pile of toss," Wedgwood explained. "It isn't why we're suffering as an industry and I don't think it's going to solve it."
He said he believed that rising salaries was a good sign of maturity in the industry and in order to keep it growing higher wages and benefits had to be offered - something he felt publishers could easily afford.
"It's good for staff because their salaries are finally going up - because they're in demand and that's really healthy, there's nothing wrong with that at all. It is difficult to recruit if you pay crap money and the UK as a whole was paying rubbish money," he said. "The money is there, the publishers have it, they can afford to pay staff in the UK exactly what they pay in the US, they've just got away with not having to."
"It's a shame for the industry to stick its hand out and say 'help us' when that isn't what actually needs to happen...We're a mature industry, we're much better than we have ever been in the past...I can tell you as the owner of a studio that, at least has the perception of being successful, if I paid less tax we wouldn't make better games," he added.
Splash Damage is the developer behind Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The company also recently announced a partnership with Bethesda Softworks on an as-yet-unannounced title.
The full GamesIndustry.biz interview with Paul Wedgwood is now available.