Videogames are worth 1bn to UK GDP, Canadians "a major threat"
Posted: 20.07.2010 12:39 by Simon Priest Comments: 0
Those red maple flag wavers, aka Canadians, aren't so innocent after all as they're striking at our UK game talent, says TIGA chief Richard Wilson.

Videogames add "a billion pounds" to the UK GDP, employs 30k people and is "very export-focussed" - just what Britain needs. We need tax breaks!

"It contributes a billion pounds to UK GDP, it generates £415m in tax receipts for the treasury, it employs 30,000 people, many of them in very highly skilled jobs, and it's very export-focussed; just the kind of sector the UK economy needs in the future," TIGA chief executive Richard Wilson told BBC One's Politics Show, reports GamerZines.

We're "competing on a very uneven playing field," and added "the Canadians are a major threat to our industry." That's what we get for inventing their country for them...

Quickstart Global's Prem Gyani adds: "The Canadians are really serious about this. They have identified the fact that the games industry is part of their country's strategy. They're doing everything right." They made it a top priority to poach global talent.

"I think a lot of people are looking at Canada and saying 'how are they doing this, they're taking all our jobs, how are they attracting our investment and we're not able to keep them here?'," said Entertainment Software Association of Canada's Danielle Parr.

"But as they say, all's fair in love and war."

"We're just simply trying to promote the video game industry in general, promote what Canada has to offer, and we'll take the best and the brightest; we'll take your investment."

"As a nation we've made it a priority and invested a lot in this industry, and we're hoping that will pay off with our continued growth and continued dominance in the video games space." We may have a saving grace though that Canada doesn't have...

At least that's what the UK Conservative's Culture Minister Ed Vaizey thinks: "The Canadian government has made a decision to get behind the video games industry and to create a video games industry virtually out of nothing."

"But I think that it's still a relatively level playing field because while the Canadians are putting in a lot of direct financial support, it's very hard to create the kind of ecology that we have in this country."

"Video games have been around for fifty years and we've been at the forefront of video games development in this country, and that's very hard to replicate."

Canada plays host to big publishers like Ubisoft and EA. The UK still maintains a very high profile selection that includes Lionhead Studios, Rare, Media Molecule, Black Rock Studios, Criterion Games, Evolution Studios, Rebellion, Rockstar North, and many more.
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