“It’s actually getting worse for the way our companies operate”
Frontier Developments founder David Braben has warned that the UK Government is not doing enough to support the games industry – and that the situation is getting worse.
Speaking in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz to be publisher later today, Braben said, “There have been changes that have made being in Britain harder, in a sense. Of the people I knew back in the early 80s, how many of those are now in the States or Canada.
“The problem is we’re operating on a world stage. We’ve got the Canadian Government making it very attractive for developers to relocate or open an office over there. It’s not just Canada – Australia and the Far East as well.”
According to Braben, the difficulties for British games companies are compounded by the rise of outsourcing and recent changes to tax law “where we’re taxed a lot more unfavourably than we were before”.
“We’re not asking for special treatment like the film industry, but it almost feels like not only do not get special treatment, but actually it’s getting worse for the ways our companies operate,” he continued.
“Things like having to forward-forecast profits for next year for tax – I’d love to be able to do that, but we’re in a very unpredictable business, and therefore it’s extra difficult in our sector.”
Braben said he believes there’s a way to go before the games industry matures and is taken seriously. “To an extent, it’s the games industry’s fault,” he observed.
“We’ve got a very, very difficult task. Making something that’s interactive and yet compelling to everybody is a real Holy Grail… It takes a big change of mindset, and I think that’s coming.”