UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken out in support of Britain's creative industries, including the games industry, in a speech at London's Tate Modern gallery.
Addressing members of various different creative sectors, Blair described the UK as the world's "creative capital" and acknowledged that many different sectors, including videogames, have "contributed to the renaissance of British culture".
British videogames publisher trade body ELSPA welcomed Blair's remarks, pointing out that the videogames industry is a net contributor to the UK's balance of trade, and has achieved global success without any of the direct financial support or subsidy from government which have been enjoyed by other sectors.
"It is good to hear the Prime Minister's speech and the government's recognition of the creative industries in Britain and their contribution to the culture and essence of the country," commented ELSPA director general Paul Jackson after the speech.
"The games industry is a proud member of these industries. The talent and creativity that our industry houses and nurtures is what makes the games industry a part of Britain's cultural heritage, and more specifically, an important asset in Britain's creative and cultural future."
The British games industry is consistently noted for "punching above its weight", with massive international franchises including Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and Project Gotham Racing all having their roots in the UK. According to figures cited by Eidos creative director Ian Livingstone, 25,000 people are employed in the games industry in the UK, with over GBP 2 billion per annum being contributed to the economy by the sector.