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Rocksteady: UK “talent drain” to overseas studios a “real shame”

Thursday, 9th February 2012 18:42 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Game director and Rocksteady’s co-founder, Sefton Hill, would like it if the UK government would finally step-up and support the UK games industry, as many of his friends have moved abroad to countries such as Canada which support the industry.

Speaking with CVG, Hill said it was “definitely” the powers-that-be in the UK started supporting its games studios in order to stop the “talent drain.”

“A lot of my friends have moved abroad to get work; there’s a real talent drain,” he said. “Montreal is a central place for development and it’s mainly because the tax breaks they give are so phenomenal. It’s a real shame… we have some of the best talent in the world in this country. That situation is rapidly changing and it’s such a shame.

“We have great developers here but those numbers are dwindling. You just think about quality developers like Bizarre Creations, Black Rock – people who are making really good games and going out of business. Those guys were so talented so how can that happen?

“I just think that we could have been in Montreal’s position with that backing from the government. It’s such a big industry now and we could be world leaders. Britain’s home computing history is just incredible.”

Hill isn’t far off in his opinion on tax breaks, as a Tiga study published in January reported that 41% of laid off UK developers moved overseas between 2009 and 2011, and the country’s overall games development workforce has fallen 10%.

Various UK trade bodies have been trying to implement change in the sector for ages, something the UK government has been dragging its heels on for ages.

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