TIGA says UK shouldn’t ignore Irish game industry

Saturday, 15 October 2011 23:52 GMT By Andrew Groen

Richard Wilson, CEO of the UK video game trade alliance TIGA, said yesterday that the UK government should not be ignoring Ireland’s drive to attract video game developers.“It’s not far to go to Dublin, is it?” Wilson told Edge in a recent interview. “If [Ireland] did get their act together, you could see developers shifting over there and indeed a number of studios. And of course the Irish have got a very strong track record in being very aggressive in terms of creating a nice financial environment for businesses to set up – look at the 12.5 per cent tax rate. We ignore them at our peril.”

He added that Ireland’s comparatively smaller government gives them the ability to have a swifter, more nimble government which could easily reach a consensus on programs to lure over UK developers.

“[In the UK] there’s been a huge amount of dithering and a lot of backward sliding about previous promises and not a great deal has been done,” he said. “We have a fantastic, highly skilled work force [but] we do have some skill shortages. The key problem is that we haven’t had a fiscal system that has supported the UK game development sector, and the interventions that we’ve had in the UK have been very limited.

“I think it’s time for ministers to really wake up and take some action here. We’ve basically had economic stagnation for the last 12 months. We know from our own research that the number of game developers in the UK has declined over the past two years while Canada has soared ahead. And now we have Ireland next door which is taking serious steps to create a strong environment for game development.”