TIGA: Canada a "Major Threat" to UK Games Industry

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TIGA: Canada a "Major Threat" to UK Games Industry

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The chief executive of UK developer organization TIGA thinks that Canada is a major threat to game development in his home country.

Last month, hopes of UK-based game developers for an industry tax break were dashed, and developers from Canada - where such tax breaks are already in effect - wasted no time in taking advantage of it. One Canadian organization placed fake Canadian passports on the seats at the recent Game Horizon conference in Newcastle, leading at least one UK-based developer to call the Canadians "vultures."

Yesterday, on the BBC One's Politics Show, TIGA boss Richard Wilson echoed the sentiments. While pointing out just how important the videogame industry was to the UK - "[it] contributes £1 billion to UK GDP, it generates £415m in tax receipts for the treasury, it employs 30,000 people - many of them in very highly skilled jobs" - Wilson expressed frustration that the Canadians had what he thought was an unfair advantage.

The UK was "competing on a very uneven playing field," said Wilson, arguing that that "the Canadians are a major threat to our industry."

However, Entertainment Software Association of Canada executive director Danielle Parr fired back, saying that "all's fair in love and war." And games, as we all know very well, are war.

"A lot of people are looking at Canada and saying how are they doing this, they're taking all our jobs, how are they attracting our investment and we're not able to keep them here," said Parr. "We're just simply trying to promote the videogame industry in general, promote what Canada has to offer. And we'll take the best and the brightest, we'll take your investment."

Parr does have a point in that the Canadians aren't doing anything illegal. If you have to point fingers, shouldn't they be at the UK government for refusing to offer the necessary deals? Either way, it's certain that whatever happens, we haven't yet seen the last of this UK/Canada industry spat.

Also, this may in fact be the first time that Canada has ever been credibly called a "major threat" to anything. Just kidding, Canadians. I love you guys as long as you still have Tim Horton's.

(GI.biz, GamerZines)

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Blame Canada?

Honestly, any country that hosts Bioware is fine in my books. They can have our games industry (except Bizarre and Lionhead. Thanks.)

The solution? Make better games. You can't expect to maintain an industry on complaints.

Wait - they have an uneven playing field that puts them at a disadvantage, and it's Canada's fault?

image

Maybe if their games industry is so goddamned important, they should strive to make the industry climate there better, rather than expecting us to somehow make ours worse...?

-m

I swear that South Park theme will keep looping through my head every time I come across these stories. It's funny the first time, but it becomes an addiction very quickly!

One Canadian organization places fake passports on the seats

EVERY SINGLE CANADIAN IS A VULTURE BECAUSE OF THIS!!

VulakAerr:
Blame Canada?

"Hey Canada! We don't like that you're doing things better than we are!"
"Hey UK. Maybe if you stopped doing things poorly, you wouldn't have anything to complain about"
"HOW DARE YOU"

This is getting a little pathetic on a national level.

Is there like a secret subliminal message in this about piracy or something?

Not that I'm stating all piracy in canada's fault, but don't they have some weak internet rules on digital rights...... or something like that.

I'm not hitting Canada, I really love the place. All that amazing, but freezing scenery...

Well we have Bioware, Ubisoft, and EA is starting to set up shop here too. So boohoo I suppose? Cry me a river? Make better games? Oh Canada? =P (Damn, the Uk has been complaining about Canada alot recently...)

Wait, let me get this straight. The UK cut tax breaks for game devs. Canada has breaks like that. Canada is promoting moving to Canada for the breaks. The UK devs are pissed at Canada. It's all logical until the end there. They should be pissed at the UK and they should have responded with "Fine, if the UK doesn't want us, we'll shoot a huge hole in it's economy and go to Canada to punish them" That's logic. What they ARE doing is nuts.

As a Canadian it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that anyone is considering us a "threat."

As a Canadian I'd love for more video game companies to set up shop here so we can collectively terrorize the rest of the video game industry, because apparently Canada is already doing a great job of that. Just listen to poor, poor TIGA!

Sevre90210:
The solution? Make better games. You can't expect to maintain an industry on complaints.

The UK made Arkham Asylum. It won Yahtzee's Game of the Year. What more do you want? You want more? We made Timesplitters? Still not satisfied? LittleBIGplanet! Need for Speed: Shift! Motorstorm 1, 2 and soon 3 and let's not forget Fable!

Calumon: Can we really brag about that last one?

Jack: As a British lad, I would like to say Canada, I still wish to remain friends. *offers Hug*

Matt_LRR:
Wait - they have an uneven playing field that puts them at a disadvantage, and it's Canada's fault?

Maybe if their games industry is so goddamned important, they should strive to make the industry climate there better, rather than expecting us to somehow make ours worse...?

-m

Oh you know you guys are going to apologize in the end. Just go ahead and get it over with.

Jack and Calumon:
The UK made Arkham Asylum. It won Yahtzee's Game of the Year. What more do you want? You want more? We made Timesplitters? Still not satisfied? LittleBIGplanet! Need for Speed: Shift! Motorstorm 1, 2 and soon 3 and let's not forget Fable!

Calumon: Can we really brag about that last one?

Jack: As a British lad, I would like to say Canada, I still wish to remain friends. *offers Hug*

And we shall accept. Ehh *Hug*

While in the end, yes, technically speaking we should actually be blaming our government (the UK one) for all this shinanigans for not offering the tax break to the gaming industry in Britain, I feel it necessary to point out that the UK government is scrapping pretty much anything that'll mean spending more money or gaining less money - across the board, almost every sector is receiving cuts of up to 25% to try and keep our national dept at a sustainable level.

Point is, if the gaming industry in Britain did receive a tax break, then the government would in turn be receiving lots of complaints from everyone else about how the gaming industry is being treated better than everyone else.

Yes, the UK industry is being hurt for this, and yes, we shouldn't blame Canada for this, but then pretty much every industry in Britain is being hurt right now, and the video games simply are no longer a priority for the government - health care, education, etc, is a priority, and, sadly, they're cutting on those too.

Basically Canada = scapegoat cause we have nobody else to blame :P

sunburst313:

Matt_LRR:
Wait - they have an uneven playing field that puts them at a disadvantage, and it's Canada's fault?

Maybe if their games industry is so goddamned important, they should strive to make the industry climate there better, rather than expecting us to somehow make ours worse...?

-m

Oh you know you guys are going to apologize in the end. Just go ahead and get it over with.

... it's funny because it's true. :(

-m

W00t, we're a threat to someone! :D

Take that, all those people that say we're too polite!

(But please don't take it personally though, and sorry if you do!)

Wait, wait wait wait wait. Canada? A threat to anything? BAAAAWHAHA.

That's funny.

Matt_LRR:
Maybe if their games industry is so goddamned important, they should strive to make the industry climate there better, rather than expecting us to somehow make ours worse...?

-m

Well said!
Canada sees the potential in the industry, and offers incentives to bring the business to its shores, and the government of another country who isn't offering those incentives gets pissed?
"Hey! They are supposed to stay here where we don't do anything for them! Not go where they'll get stuff!"
Yeah, that makes sense.

Also, this may in fact be the first time that Canada has ever been credibly called a "major threat" to anything.

HEY! D:<

Just kidding, Canadians. I love you guys as long as you still have Tim Horton's.

Oh well thanks... I guess :-/

That's pretty low for UK to blame Canada for being a threat. I mean if you want to stay ahead in the gaming market, MAKE BETTER GAMES! Instead of starting petty arguments, just try and stay ahead of the competition.

Matt_LRR:
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I see what you did thar.

So Canada has better a better business climate for game developers then the UK...And TIGA is mad at Canada? Hmm, makes PERFECT SENSE.

Jack and Calumon:

Sevre90210:
The solution? Make better games. You can't expect to maintain an industry on complaints.

The UK made Arkham Asylum. It won Yahtzee's Game of the Year. What more do you want? You want more? We made Timesplitters? Still not satisfied? LittleBIGplanet! Need for Speed: Shift! Motorstorm 1, 2 and soon 3 and let's not forget Fable!

Calumon: Can we really brag about that last one?

Jack: As a British lad, I would like to say Canada, I still wish to remain friends. *offers Hug*

I never said that British games were bad. I'm saying that in a competition the general aim is to be better than your opponents. Clearly the British games industry needs to up the ante if they want to win back territory.

Hurra!

We are finally considered a threat to something! Bad ass!

As well I am kinda shocked. I expected more people to bash Canada rather then rip on UK over this.

I don't even know if any of the games I have are even British. Do we make any good ones?

Alright I was thinking the same thing as you Funk, when have we ever been considered a threat since our "storm troopers" in WWI. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Oh wait that is my Tim Hortons *sips delicious coffee*

On topic though, seriously? Blame Canada for this? Ya that makes complete sense

Lord Mountbatten Reborn:
I don't even know if any of the games I have are even British. Do we make any good ones?

We made Timesplitters. Timesplitters automatically wins any fight.

On another Timesplitters related note, since Crytek UK (formerly Free Radical Design) are UK based, then surely the lack of tax breaks is not in any way helping persuade them to continue development on Timesplitters 4. I say we storm Downing Street with Ninja Monkeys and various other Timesplitters related doo-dads. Even if it solves nothing, we should still do it.

Blaming Canada because our government wont do what needs to be done...well, I cant blame developers. They poffer what is needed at least!

SomeBoredGuy:

Lord Mountbatten Reborn:
I don't even know if any of the games I have are even British. Do we make any good ones?

We made Timesplitters. Timesplitters automatically wins any fight.

On another Timesplitters related note, since Crytek UK (formerly Free Radical Design) are UK based, then surely the lack of tax breaks is not in any way helping persuade them to continue development on Timesplitters 4. I say we storm Downing Street with Ninja Monkeys and various other Timesplitters related doo-dads. Even if it solves nothing, we should still do it.

Well, so long as I don't lose my seat in the House of Lords, I'm all for it. It's been many years since the last ruckus, and I'm spoiling for a bit of action.

I'm sure Queen Elizabeth II shall help out - she never did like that plastic man who seems to have taken up residence in Downing Street.

I have to side with Canada on this one. Seriously U.K. Devs. If you are going to bitch to anyone, bitch to your government about cutting your taxes. Don't blame Canada because their government is giving games devs tax breaks so they will get more companies to come over to Canada. That's just good business sense.

Reminds me of a young child who doesn't have all the same toys as the neighbor kids. They don't do their chores so they don't get the good toys, but its everyone else's fault.

Shale_Dirk:
"Hey Canada! We don't like that you're doing things better than we are!"
"Hey UK. Maybe if you stopped doing things poorly, you wouldn't have anything to complain about"
"HOW DARE YOU"

I got a great laugh out of this, well said.

vrbtny:
Is there like a secret subliminal message in this about piracy or something?

Not that I'm stating all piracy in canada's fault, but don't they have some weak internet rules on digital rights...... or something like that.

I'm not hitting Canada, I really love the place. All that amazing, but freezing scenery...

It is illegal in Canada, despite what most people believe, but the RCMP has issued a statement that it isn't a priority for them.

From a Canadian to all of our friends in the UK.

We're sorry.
We're sorry you have a government that doesn't see the importance of interactive media.
We're sorry you're all crammed into a space most of us would consider a back yard.
We're sorry we have better food than you, in our defense though.. who doesn't?
We're sorry your gaming association thinks our government will listen to you, hell, we have enough trouble trying to get our government to listen to us.
We're sorry you don't seem capable of distinguishing between a single investment company and all of Canada.
But most of all, we're sorry how we keep apologizing in this passive-aggressive manner which is really just a veiled way to insult you.. again. :)

Kwil:
From a Canadian to all of our friends in the UK.

We're sorry.
We're sorry you have a government that doesn't see the importance of interactive media.
We're sorry you're all crammed into a space most of us would consider a back yard.
We're sorry we have better food than you, in our defense though.. who doesn't?
We're sorry your gaming association thinks our government will listen to you, hell, we have enough trouble trying to get our government to listen to us.
We're sorry you don't seem capable of distinguishing between a single investment company and all of Canada.
But most of all, we're sorry how we keep apologizing in this passive-aggressive manner which is really just a veiled way to insult you.. again. :)

This. (So Canadian).

But seriously, boo-fucking-hoo UK devs. If your own government is going to shaft you, damn straight we're going to try and capitalize on that missed opportunity. What smart industry wouldn't?

Oh and Canada not really a threat to anyone? Find a German SS commander and ask them what country would scare the shit out of them the most. And all you Americans keep forgetting about 1812...

UK is going to the dogs anyway, we gave up (maybe we never really started) on being technological and artistic innovators and exporters (like Japan or Germany) LONG ago. The only way we as a nation stay out of the red (both metaphors) is our UTTER DEPENDENCE on London's financial markets and wheeling & dealing with the world's money. That and North Sea oil.

Really, everywhere else in the UK other than London takes more tax-money than it contributes. We don't make cars here, we import all the parts and do the final assembly here.

It seems we have a fundamentally crippled job market, as far back as my Dad's generation he had to get a job with an overseas company and only got it due to frankly elitism, it wasn't his qualifications, but just that he qualified from Cambridge.

Frankly I want to move to Canada. This country is fucked and no one wants to fix it. I don't want to live in a country that lives off bankers.

Oh what's that? The UK is moaning about something again? Shocking!

Treblaine:
UK is going to the dogs anyway, we gave up (maybe we never really started) on being technological and artistic innovators and exporters (like Japan or Germany) LONG ago. The only way we as a nation stay out of the red (both metaphors) is our UTTER DEPENDENCE on London's financial markets and wheeling & dealing with the world's money. That and North Sea oil.

Really, everywhere else in the UK other than London takes more tax-money than it contributes. We don't make cars here, we import all the parts and do the final assembly here.

It seems we have a fundamentally crippled job market, as far back as my Dad's generation he had to get a job with an overseas company and only got it due to frankly elitism, it wasn't his qualifications, but just that he qualified from Cambridge.

Frankly I want to move to Canada. This country is fucked and no one wants to fix it. I don't want to live in a country that lives off bankers.

Oh I quite agree. The UK, certainly England anyway, is not quite the Great Britain that it used to be. We can barely stand on our own two (mataphorical) feet. We have lost all of our industries and we can't make anything for ourselves any more, having to depend so much on other countries to make things for us. We expect so much for so little, as if we're entitled to it. As for joining Europe? Don't even get me started.

It's no surprise that our fine country would take the "Blame someone else" route, it's quite typical. We've never been any good at anything, certainly not for a long time, why should we be any good at making games? We've grown complacent. It all kinda reminds me of the story of the squirrel who is busy all summer gathering nuts for winter, while the lazy one does nothing and sits on his fat arse. Come winter the lazy squirrel has nothing to eat. Yeah the lazy squirrel is the UK, watching the hard workers actually reap the benefits.

Thank god that we still have people like Molyneux. He may not quite reach the goals he aims for but damn it, at least he has a vision and tries to create something unique.

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