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TIGA: "Too many studios commit suicide"

Trade body calls for better mentoring and cautious approach to self-publishing

Developers are effectively "committing suicide" in the UK by running their studios without solid business advice and by jumping into self-publishing without knowledge of the realities of the new games economy.

That's according to TIGA CEO Richard Wilson speaking at the Westminster Media Forum today, who having praised the introduction of tax breaks for the UK, addressed other issues that are affecting the regional development scene.

"Too many studios effectively commit suicide in the UK because they don't have access to good business advice. We intend to provide access to mentors in the UK to help start-ups become more sustainable," he said.

We have to make sure game development exploits the tax relief and ensure that no politician, no sector and no business can take away our tax break.

Richard Wilson, TIGA

"Self-publishing is extremely important to the UK. Digital distribution is in the ascent, retail is in decline as the events at GAME confirm," he added.

"It's no wonder some developers see self-publishing as the siren's call. Yet self-publishing in the absence of good business advice is risky. Follow the siren's call and you could up in hospital. We intend to make sure excellent advice is available for studios that want to move into self-publishing."

Yesterday chancellor George Osborne revealed tax breaks for the UK development sector of up to £50 million by 2015 - a campaign that TIGA has been supporting for over five years.

But while the latest move was seen as a triumph, Wilson warned that the UK industry must fight to prove and retain tax relief in the long-term.

"There's no room to be complacent. The peacock of today is often the feather duster of tomorrow."

"W need to guard the tax relief in the same way that we guard the crown jewels. Just because it's being introduced doesn't mean that it will be around for ever. We have to demonstrate that tax relief will really power the UK industry forward. We have to be on our guard, we have to make sure game development exploits the tax relief and ensure that no politician, no sector and no business can take away our tax break."

He added: "I'd like to praise the government and opposition parties for showing faith in the game development sector, their faith will not be in vain. With the tax break our industry is set for future growth."

He urged the government to introduce the tax breaks as quickly as possible, as well as look at other ways to make the UK games economy more competitive including improving R&D tax credits and expanding the Abertay Prototype Fund. The industry itself also has a responsibility, said Wilson, and should be supporting David Braben's Raspberry Pi Foundation, investing in higher education and supporting the need to grow skills in the UK.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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