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Tiga expresses regret at Free Radical closure

Independent developer's plight "highlights the difficult economic climate"

Tiga CEO Richard Wilson has expressed his regret at the demise of Free Radical Design, the Haze developer which went bust yesterday.

"On behalf of all Tiga members, I would like to say how sorry the whole industry is to hear of the fate of Free Radical Design," he said in a statement. "The studio has employed some very talented teams developing first class games over the years. Free Radical Design has also been a member of Tiga and a strong supporter of our trade association.

"I would like to congratulate everyone at the studio for their past achievements and I wish everyone good fortune in finding a new job as quickly as possible. Free Radical Design's demise highlights the difficult economic environment in which UK games developers do business."

He went on to use Free Radical as an example of why the government needs to act to support the videogames industry in the UK.

"Last night, Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), advocated a form of 'market-based industrial activism'. This approach, he said, means that 'Policy should be activist in the sense that it recognises that government can and must complement market dynamics to get the best outcomes for our society and economy.'

"The best outcome for the UK video games industry is an increase in the sector's rate of growth and the return of the UK as the third largest developer of video games in the world. If we are to achieve these results then the Government must establish a more favourable tax environment and tackle the underlying skills shortages facing the industry.

"A tax break for games production and a larger supply of skilled workers may not have saved Free Radical Design. Nonetheless, this policy approach would strengthen the UK video games sector. The Secretary of State for BERR must take action."

Free Radical Design employed over 150 people, and other projects that it was working on have now been picked up by other studios, it is understood.

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