With two separate reports currently ongoing into video game violence and its social effects, local trade body ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) has welcomed a new strategy paper from the UK government entitled “Creative Britain: New Talents for a New Economy”.
The paper contains several direct references and commitments to the video games industry in the UK, including the commissioning of research to “better quantify the economic benefits of the creative industries with special attention to the value added by innovation in those industries.”
The government has also committed itself to identifying “barriers to investment” in next generation broadband (the UK has one of the slowest broadband infrastructures in Western Europe), with specific reference to video games – as well as video and music distribution and user generated content.
Attempts will also be made to increase awareness of the current research and development tax credit scheme available to video game creators and to investigate how it can be made more user friendly for small businesses.
Finally, the paper claims that the UK will take a leading role in opposing practices that unfairly distort competition. As an example further co-operation with Europe is promised on determining whether incentives offered by the Canadian government to video games companies contravenes World Trade Organization rules.
“The government’s commitment to bring creative industries from the margins to the mainstream of the economy and policy thinking shows a marked change to the government’s attitude towards creative industries which can only be good for the games sector,”
commented Paul Jackson, director general of ELSPA.
"We are very pleased Andy Burnham linked the idea of film credits to support for the video games development community. Whilst we are very different in terms of content we face many of the same issues,” he added.