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TIGA is "healthier now than it's ever been"

Founding members firm on trade association's relevance for new and upcoming businesses

The UK developer trade association, TIGA, is as strong today as its ever been in its ten-year history - and that it's the most relevant organisation for those smaller companies getting to grips with the industry today.

That's according to two of the founding members - Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley and Blitz CEO Philip Oliver - speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in the week of the association's tenth anniversary.

"It's actually healthier now than it's ever been," said Oliver. "There have been times over the years where its future has looked a little bit precarious, but I'd say it's probably at its strongest right now, and gathering momentum."

Looking back over the years Kingsley added that one of the association's biggest achievements has been its growth and evolution to be representative of a variety of companies.

"As chair I've always been very aware that Rebellion is one of the larger independent games developers, and while we speak with a loud voice, the organisation is there to represent all games development companies - not just mine," he explained.

"I've almost been in the situation of outvoting myself in the past, because something would benefit the bigger companies and not necessarily the smaller ones. We have to think of the health of the industry as a whole, so having more people get more involved has been a great thing."

And Oliver added that the experience found on the TIGA board meant that the organisation was in a position to understand the kinds of challenges that start-up companies faced.

"One of the reasons why we, as the big companies, can look out for the small guys is because that was us not so long ago," he said. "We very much see through their eyes - the one-man bedroom coders, the guys that are just starting up, the guys who are ten people, or fifty or bigger.

"Around that TIGA board table, pretty much everyone has done all that - and don't take that for granted. If you go to UKIE or any other trade association, the people that turn up at the table have usually popped up at that company a couple of years ago and they haven't been doing that type of thing their whole lives. They probably don't know the history, or grown up with it - because those industries are established.

"Somebody who turns up from Ford, or something - he doesn't know what it was like when Ford was small... he wasn't alive! So how can he really say he understands the little guys, even if he's been there for 20 years?"

The full interview with Kingsley and Oliver is available now.