Bizarre's Chudley: 'We're fighting to stop UK industry decline'

Bizarre's Chudley: 'We're fighting to stop UK industry decline'
Michael French

By Michael French

July 18th 2008 at 8:43AM

Commercial director of PGR studio uses Liverpool newspaper opinion piece to rally industry support

As part of her role as a spokesperson for the Games Up campaign, Bizarre Creations' Sarah Chudley has written a piece for the Liverpool Daily Post looking to help raise the profile of the UK games industry.

And she warns readers to be mindful that, while they may enjoy many UK-made computer games (although they may not know they are UK-developed) that situation may not last that long.

Say Chudley: "The tide is going to turn in games development if we’re not careful. At the grass roots level, fewer children are choosing computer science, maths and physics in school and university, core staples of our – and other technology-based – industries. Many new “Games Development” courses are turning out graduates without the skills they need.

"But most worrying is the financial situation. Other governments are recognising the success and future potential of games. We are fighting against countries like Canada, France and the US where games get specific tax credits, subsidies or great access to finance.

"With key people and companies leaving to these more lucrative shores, we’re having to fight to stop our industry heading into decline."

The full text can be found here, and is copied in below:

OPINION: Is the game really up for Britain’s video gaming sector?

ON READING the words “games development”, images of teenage geeks in untidy bedrooms easily spring to mind. But games development in the UK is big business, and a great success story in our area.

In Liverpool alone, there are more than 500 people working in development with two large multinational publishing companies – and, surprisingly, many of us aren’t actually geeks.

Games are a serious industry nowadays, with top titles costing millions to make. And the UK has been doing really well. In 2003, we added nearly £200m to the balance of trade.

We’ve been the third largest producer of video games worldwide in recent times – pretty impressive, given the competition.

So what’s led a successful industry to form a new group, Games Up?

The tide is going to turn in games development if we’re not careful. At the grass roots level, fewer children are choosing computer science, maths and physics in school and university, core staples of our – and other technology-based – industries. Many new “Games Development” courses are turning out graduates without the skills they need.

But most worrying is the financial situation. Other governments are recognising the success and future potential of games. We are fighting against countries like Canada, France and the US where games get specific tax credits, subsidies or great access to finance.

With key people and companies leaving to these more lucrative shores, we’re having to fight to stop our industry heading into decline.

So Games Up is fighting to raise the profile of an industry that’s been quietly growing and generating revenue for the Government.

We’re talking to MPs locally and nationally. We’re going to schools, colleges and universities to work alongside courses to match keen students with vacancies. And we’re talking to the EU to encourage Europe-wide support for an industry that wants to show how it’s done.

So, when you next watch your kid playing Lego Star Wars, share a family quiz on Buzz or race round a virtual London in a high-end car, you can smile in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit to support great British games.