Tiga boss Richard Wilson has again highlighted the need for tax subsidies in the UK in order to attract business to the region, stating that money is more important than skilled staff in appealing to foreign businesses.
THQ exec Danny Bilson today told GamesIndustry.biz that no matter how talented the local developers, financial incentives will always win when it comes to assessing locations to open new studios. The publisher has announced plans for a 400-person studio in Montreal, helped with generous subsidies from the local government.
"Global publisher THQ has confirmed that the UK is losing out on jobs and investment because of the absence of games tax relief," said Wilson. "High skilled jobs could be created in Manchester and Warrington. Instead they are being created in Montreal. The UK is not competing on a level playing field. Our key competitors, particularly Canada, have tax breaks for games production. The UK does not. We are losing in the global battle for job creation and investment."
The new THQ studio will be split into two teams focused on new projects for the hardcore gamer, and Bilson said that the tax relief in Montreal goes a long way to assisting budgets that are now climbing to over $35 million.
"Crucially, as Danny Bilson said, the provision of a skilled workforce in the UK is not the issue. The UK's development workforce is excellent. The key issue is money," added Wilson.
"Measures to enhance skills in the games industry and to improve the supply of suitably skilled workers are important, but they will be completely ineffective in attracting overseas publishers to invest in the UK. If the Coalition Government wants the UK to be open for business, to attract overseas investment, and to create highly skilled jobs then it must introduce games tax relief."
The full interview with Danny Bilson can be read here.