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A Canadian perspective on the UK's tax break talks

With the UK's substantial plans to offer tax relief benefits to video game developers, Ian Kelso of the Canadian Interactive Alliance shares his country's experiences with a similar program.
Ian Kelso, president of the Canadian Interactive Alliance, shared his views on how the UK can learn from the rise of the Canadian video game industry at a Gamasutra-attended seminar devoted to shaping the future of the UK industry. In Ontario alone, the number of video game employees has more than tripled since tax credits were introduced in the province (which includes the city of Toronto) two years ago, he said. Talking at the Westminster event also attended by Eidos life president Ian Livingstone, Kelso explained that the country's flexibility regarding how much tax relief each city can offer has caused a sort of "sibling rivalry" between city councils, raising the average tax relief across Canada up to 35 percent. In addition, Kelso urged UK developers to build "a broader ecosystem" that the industry can thrive more prominently in -- in particular, he echoed previous comments from speakers at the seminar regarding computer science education, noting that Canada currently outputs 2.5 times more game developer graduates per capita than the United States. Build a great community and a vibrant indie scene, he suggested, that is linked strongly with trade organizations, and the UK video game industry can prosper just as Canada did before it.

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