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British Government is driving devs out of business - Doak

A lack of Government concessions to the games industry is driving up development costs and seeing big contracts and local talent disappear abroad, David Doak tells <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i>.

Free Radical Design boss David Doak believes that the UK Government's lack of interest in videogames is driving developers out of business.

"The UK Government needs to do something more useful than just criticising violent content in videogames," Doak told GamesIndustry.biz during an interview about Haze, Free Radical's upcoming next-gen shooter.

"Here's an industry that 20 years ago we led the world in - through bedroom rock-and-roll development on the early home computers - and now there's a very real chance that what is now a real profession is going to be driven out of the UK because they don't make any concessions to it," he complained.

"They love the British film industry and stuff and are prepared to give it money, and yet they'll stand around watching videogame developers losing staff."

Doak said "big contracts" consistently go to development in places like Paris and Canada - not to mention emerging development areas like Shanghai - because of the Government's lack of assistance.

"They drive up the cost of our business, and that makes us less appealing to other people, and even on a wider level, individual people are getting headhunted and pulled away - lots of people go to Canada, because that's a nice place.

"If you look up the best places to live in the world, Nottingham is not British Columbia," he joked bleakly.

It all feeds in to one of the reasons Doak and Free Radical chose to collaborate with Ubisoft on Haze - which is leading on PlayStation 3.

"If we're going to build something significant, it needs to be something that matters as much to them as it matters to us," he explained.

Haze is due out later this year on PS3, with Doak confirming to our sister site Eurogamer at the same event that other versions are also in development.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.