Kotick: UK tax break u-turn was a “terrible mistake”

Monday, 3rd January 2011 06:14 GMT By Brenna Hillier


Reacting to the UK’s 2010 emergency budget, which scrapped incoming tax relief schemes for the games industry, Activision Blizzard has reportedly warned it may pull 600 jobs out of Britain.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick described the u-turn on tax relied in frank terms.

“I think it was a terrible mistake. There are so many other places that are encouraging the video games industry,” he said.

The Telegraph reports claims that Activision has “refused to rule out moving its UK operations elsewhere.”

While not directly threatening to up stakes and away, Kotick’s reference to the lure of incentives thrown out by eager rival territories is worrying in a climate of closures, redundancies, and graduate glut. This isn’t the first time Kotick has openly pondered Activision fleeing the UK.

Trade body TIGA has reported a 9 percent diminishment in the British games industry over the last financial year, and both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties supported Alistair Darling’s proposed games industry tax relief pre-election.

June saw the plan’s dismissal by the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

Based in Slough, Berkshire, the British office of Activision Blizzard is home to around 600 employees.



  1. Captain Fruitloop

    The proposed tax breaks were specifically for games development, weren’t they, and I don’t think there’s ever any dev work happening at Acti’s offices in Slough. It’s all admin, marketing and general UK/Euro publishing stuff.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Gheritt White

    @1: Yeah, but that’s the bit Activision *wouldn’t* move off-shore; all publishers have operations like that in almost every territory in which they operate.

    I believe Mr Kotick is referring to UK-based Acti-owned dev studios, like Bizzare Creations and FreeStyle Games, whose work could be taken abroad, even if the people wouldn’t/couldn’t.

    #2 4 years ago

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