Wed 9 Dec 2009
The big news in the UK dev scene is how the government snubbed the game industry by not including any tax breaks to support game development in the next budget. In part citing that the case made by industry for a tax break was unconvincing, as well as the overall tough economic climate.
While industry reps are in rage, they should not be overly surprised as they themselves claimed it would “never happen”. On a panel at Develop in Brighton, they stated it was an impossible task, but on principle they had to fight the fight.
It is the same panel that I got into a bit of a shouting match, blaming them for using the tax break fight as a distraction from doing real (hard) work on things they could effect and could have an impact on the UK industry.
I also made the bold claim that if a tax break did happen, it would have literally no impact on the UK situation. Meaning, a tax break is not some kind of all-in-one solution that would all of a sudden resolve all the challenges the UK community is facing.
As an example of progress, at roughly the same time, it was announced that £10million is being invested in the game industry to support education and the development of prototypes and original IP. Similar initiatives are popping up across the country.
Now we’re talking. Now we’re getting somewhere. This approach speaks more to the ecosystem nature of the industry and working to build things out and support efforts at a more organic level. Though, this gets marginal coverage/attention versus the tax debate…
Even Canada, with all its national and provincial aids, is at risk. Blamed for “buying the video game industry“, Canada needs to build a more holistic strategy to foster the community from top to bottom - not just chasing down big publishers to set up shop…
PS: Does anyone have details on the UK “brain drain” to Canada. UK reps continuously claim that they are losing their talent to Canada. But, I’ve never seen any real data or research. Is this a valid claim? Or, mainly based on anecdotes and really, all the UK talent is just shifting to some other sector in the UK?