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ELSPA calls for "united" industry approach

Trade body outlines 'wider remit' plans as University of Abertay is revealed as newest member

The director general of UK trade association ELSPA, Michael Rawlinson, has stated his belief that the British videogames industry needs to unite and work more closely together.

The announcement, during a keynote speech at the Digital Spark conference, comes a week before the organisation is set to rebrand to UKIE - UK Interactive Entertainment - as it seeks to expand its remit from looking after the interests of traditional publishers alone.

"Boundaries are blurring between developer and publisher and with these changes new opportunities are arising, and we all need to adapt to make the most of this brave new world," he said.

He also announced that the University of Abertay Dundee - at which the Digital Spark conference was being held - was the most recent member to sign up.

"By joining with our developer and publisher members, Abertay can forge even closer, mutually beneficial industry links - providing direct access for its students to become the workforce of tomorrow and sharing the knowledge and skills that all our members can offer."

The move is likely to set it on a collision course with fellow UK trade body TIGA, traditionally the representative of developers, but with a host of academic institutions on its roster and plans to open up to individual memberships too.

Specifically Rawlinson underlined the organisation's intentions to continue to pursue tax breaks - also seen as TIGA's turf - but urged businesses to "look at other ways of helping ourselves and of working more closely together to identify new business models that support industry growth."

The official launch event for the UKIE rebrand takes place next Tuesday.

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