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UK Games industry welcomes Prime Minister's recognition of creative industries

Thursday 8th March/...ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers' Association) has welcomed Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech on Britain's cultural life. The Prime Minister delivered his address to representatives of arts and creative industries from the UK, including representatives from the interactive entertainment and games business.

ELSPA strongly support Mr Blair's view that the UK is the creative capital of the world, offering praise to creative industries including the games business.

The UK games business is a net contributor to the UK balance of payments, and has achieved its success on a global basis without any government subsidy or direct financial support. This comes at a time when Mr Blair noted that government have increased their funding to the creative industries by 100% since 1997

Speaking at Tate Modern in Central London, Mr Blair gave thanks to the industries and individuals that have offered their creativity, saying: "Culture spans so many disciplinesI am very much aware of the contribution from every quarter. There is not a sector represented.which has not contributed to the renaissance of British culture."

ELSPA is delighted with recognition of the industry's quality, talent, creativity and contribution to British culture.

Paul Jackson, Director General ELSPA "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. 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 games industry employs around 25,000 people in the UK and produces some of the world's best selling games franchises, and has been responsible for developing some of the world's leading producer's, developers, technologists and commercial managers.

Jackson added: "We continue to produce ground breaking technological breakthroughs and are continually making quantum leaps with creative achievement that delivers fiscal value for UK PLC."

Ian Livingstone, Creative Director of Eidos, the British games publisher and creator of Lara Croft, added: "The games industry is a great British success story, employing roughly 25,000 people and contributing over £2 billion per annum to the economy. We make original and innovative games that sell around the world and whilst we have achieved most of this without significant contribution from government, we welcome the Prime Minister's view that games are very much part of creative Britain both culturally and economically and look forward to his continued support."

He added: "Games are now viewed more positively and as the industry matures, the appeal of games is broadening with more and more people, young and old, male and female, enjoying games on many different devises as part of their entertainment mix."

Editor's Notes:

About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com

ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

ELSPA's activities include: Official Chart and Industry Reports, Anti-Piracy UK and EU, PR and Communication, Events. More information on all these activities can be found at http://www.elspa.com.

Laura West

Barrington Harvey

Tel: 01462 456780

Fax: 01462 456781

Email laura.west@bhpr.co.uk

After office hours 07968 544871

Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper's Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW

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