ELSPA calls for Government support for videogames industry

UK development and publishing facing increasing threat from lack of local funding

Publisher association ELSPA has warned that without Government support, the videogames industry may face difficulty in maintaining its positive balance of trade - which has once again outstripped film and TV in the latest figures.

Figures from analysts Screen Digest show that the leisure software industry made a positive contribution of almost UKP 200 million to the balance of trade in 2003, compared to negative figures of UKP 282 million for film, and UKP 465 million for television.

"To be in a position where the interactive entertainment industry is financially exceeding such well-established industries as film and television is a marvellous achievement," according to ELSPA director general Roger Bennett. However, "the years ahead look less promising for the UK development and publishing sector," he warned.

"Our greatest asset is our creativity and in recent times we have seen this talent being leeched away through lack of funding and more attractive prospects overseas," explained Bennett. "The UK is at risk of losing its position both as the font of some of the most successful games produced for a global market worth $20bn and as the major European destination for global investment."

News source: GamesIndustry.biz

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