Eidos: UK Must Invest In Gaming Or "Suffer The Consequences"
Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry and is in the process of trumping just about every other entertainment venue on earth ('cept porn). However, the UK continues to experience difficulty in the eyes of the media and developers, as Eidos' Ian Livingstone has issued a serious warning to the region: address the rising costs of game development in the UK and the industry skills shortage, or "suffer the consequences."
According to an interview with DevelopMag, Livingstone, also a spokesman for the territory's "Games Up" campaign, said the UK is the most expensive place for game designers. This is leading to a variety of problems, and coupled with the lack of properly trained individuals, the problems are amplified.
"The Government should address the issues of skills and costs for the UK to remain competitive," said Livingstone. "The UK is now the most expensive country in the world in which to develop. There are naturally cheap labour markets in Asia and also subsidised markets like Canada. The UK has slipped from third to fourth in world development. Given the heritage of development in the UK, this is a tragedy."
Obviously, developers have to step up as well, but without some government assistance, the downward spiral may continue. Livingstone says it's "up to the government" to make the UK as attractive as places like Canada (where it's cheap to develop games), so everything can get back on track. In the meantime, the industry will continue to lag in the UK, and...well, nobody wants that. Livingstone concluded:
"Whilst the UK Government does nothing, developers will continue to shut down or be acquired by overseas companies who see greater long term value in our talent than we do ourselves. The Government needs to invest in this valuable Creative Industries asset or suffer the consequences."
7/8/2008 Ben Dutka