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Vaizey: "Mismatch" between game dev and finance communities

UK needs to replicate US "culture of investment and risk", claims MP

UK  minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey believes there should be more co-operation between the game development and investment industries in this country.

In a visit to West Sussex studio the Creative Assembly to honour its planned expansion to 200 staff and new 10,000 square foot premises to work on an Alien game, Vaizey told that "I think that one of the great challenges for the industry is access to finance.

"We need to encourage people to understand that this is a great industry to invest in, but they also need to understand that there are hits and misses," he said when asked whether he feared for the long term future of small developers taking investment and loans for social network projects.

"But we did some analysis in our budget which I think showed that investing in the creative industries, as opposed to in say pizza takeaways, increases your risk by about 1 per cent - so what you lose on the swing you can gain on the roundabouts.

Ensuring successful projects meant more harmony between developers and financers, he felt, "and I think it's very important that we as politicians – and I'm doing a NESTA conference at the end of May – engage with the financial community along with developers and so on, because I think there is a mismatch between those communities.

"In fact, if you go to Silicon Valley, they will tell you that it's not necessarily IP or anything else that makes a difference to American success, it's a culture of investment and risk which I think we need to try and replicate here.

"Some businesses will work and others will fail, but the talent tends to move around pretty easily," he felt of prospects for UK game startups.

The MP also enthused to about last year's Eurogamer Expo appearance in an episode of the Apprentice last night. "That was quite good, I thought, for the games industry. It's quite interesting, I thought, that Sir Alan [Sugar] has woken up to the fact that future businesses are growing. When was the last time a gamer expo has gone mainstream on television?"

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.