Monday, 20 August 2007
According to MCV via a report by Gwynne Dixon on www.totalvideogames.com, the shadow Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, has revealed that a Conservative government will introduce tax breaks for the UK Games industry, beneficial economic strategies and a "more robust IP framework" to combat piracy, if they get into power.
This comes after EIDOS Chief Executive Jane Cavanagh recently criticised UK governments for not funding the industry adequately enough. She said: "It seems that this industry is not being taken seriously."
Ms. Cavanagh's views were subsequently backed up by the main governing body for the industry, ELSPA.
Eidos are perhaps best known for their adventure games featuring the fragrant Lara Croft.
Mr. Hunt told MCV: "The UK games industry is a vitally important part of our economy. Government needs to do all they can to support this sector and allow it to flourish.
"One of the greatest threats facing the UK industry at present is certainly the shortage of suitably trained graduates. Also, many of our top talent are going abroad to places such as Canada where companies are offered more appealing incentives.
"Tax breaks for the games industry similar to those experienced by the film industry, could go some way to remedying this situation and this is something I will be discussing with my colleagues in the Conservative Treasury team."
These fears of a brain-drain are warranted as the UK industry was the third largest in the world, behind the US and Japan, but recently fell to fourth behind Canada.
As well as a possible and welcome recognition of the earning potential in the games industry perhaps it is also indicative of the generational shift in our political class.
Perhaps next week in one of his policy smash and grabs Gordon will announce a benefits package for the hard pressed manufacturers of hand crafted rocking horses.