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Canadian ESA: "All's fair in love and war"

"We'll take the best and the brightest," says Parr as Vaizey downplays threat to UK industry

Danielle Parr, executive director of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, has stated the nation's intent to take "the best and the brightest" of Britain's developers, claiming "all's fair in love and war."

Speaking to the BBC's Politics Show as part of a special report at Develop last week, a laughing and smiling Parr seemed unconcerned by the danger Canada's attempts to attract developers and investment presented to this country's videogame industry.

"A lot of people are looking at Canada and saying how are they doing this, they're taking all our jobs, how are they attracting our investment and we're not able to keep them here," she said.

"But as they say, all's fair in love and war. We're just simply trying to promote the videogame industry in general, promote what Canada has to offer. And we'll take the best and the brightest, we'll take your investment," she said, before an outburst of laughter.

"We've as a nation made it a priority and invested a lot in this industry and we're hoping it'll pay off with our continued growth and our continued dominance in the videogame space."

The BBC also spoke to minister Ed Vaizey following his non-committal keynote address concerning the cancellation of planned tax relief for the UK games industry. "The Canadian Government has made a decision to get behind the videogame industry and to create a videogames industry virtually out of nothing," said Vaizey.

"But I think that it’s still a relatively level playing field, because while the Canadians are putting in a lot of direct financial support, it’s very hard to create the kind of ecology that we have in this country. Videogames have been around for fifty years and we've been at the forefront of video games development in this country, and that’s very hard to replicate."

TIGA boss Richard Wilson claimed, "We're competing on a very uneven playing field, the Canadians are a major threat to our industry," while GameHorizon's Carrie Cunliffe confirmed that "they've phoned people."

Added Prem Gyani of Quickstart Global: "The Canadians are really serious about this. They're doing everything right."

The Politics show described the situation as "they're stealing our nerds, they're poaching our geeks" in a jocular report that also featured a recreation of the original Doom, as starring pixellated Mounties.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.


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