ELSPA boss to UK government: Give games more support

The current social and political climate around gaming is a strange one indeed. The industry has exploded in recent years to overtake the Hollywood, and the way things are going it won’t be long before music gets left in the dust as well. However despite being the all conquerung behemoth that it is, gaming’s treatment from outside the industry just hasn’t caught up with its status yet, and nowhere is that more true than the UK.

Between bannings and lack of government support – which the British film industry does get – things are woefully out of date at the moment. There were reasons to be cheerful last month though, as the New Minister for Creative Industries pledged support, and it seems ELSPA director general Paul Jackson was listening. He responded today, stating that the UK industry needs government financial help in staying competitive in the global marketplace, but was somewhat doubtful of the chances of that help happening:

Our impression is that government understand that there is a serious problem here and we have been invited back to discuss the issue further.

However we are wary that historically government has never really given us the support we require when compared to other industries in our sector.

The reality is that the market is financially doped in other parts of the world, making it incredibly difficult for the industry in the UK to compete.

There are issues for our Government in talking to other governments about the predatory activities they seem to be carrying out.

I don’t believe British industry needs special help. We’re very innovative and competitive. We need the Government to protect us from uncompetitive activities, to ensure that we’re not being attacked by unfair practices elsewhere.

This needs to happen, and it needs to happen soon.  Back in the ’80s and ’90s the British industry was thriving, but far too much of it has been swallowed up by overseas companies over recent years. A lot of that could have been avoided had the government offered the same financial incentives for working domestically that other countries do. The UK film industry is already a sorry mess compared to what it used to be. Let’s not let that happen to gaming. 

David Houghton