It’s no secret that the gaming industry in Ireland is growing leaps and bounds, and now our neighbours in the United Kingdom have taken nervous note.
TIGA, the trade association that represents the UK game’s industry, fronted by their CEO Richard Wilson, has warned the UK government that ignoring Ireland’s recent successes in attracting more games developers to the island would be a huge mistake. The UK ignores Ireland’s ongoing gaming growth “at its peril”. TIGA see Ireland as a potential brain-drain on the UK’s current industry set up.
Speaking to Edge, Wilson recognised Ireland’s growing gaming stature and how it poses a legitimate threat to the structure of the UK’s development network.
“It’s not far to go to Dublin, is it?” 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.”
Ireland’s size and it’s considerably smaller government means decisions get ushered through the system quicker according to Wilson. UK government is guilty of “dithering” far too much.
“[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,” Wilson 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.”
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