Ubisoft CEO: We'd invest in UK if dev costs fell

Ubisoft CEO: We'd invest in UK if dev costs fell

By Rob Crossley

April 13th 2011 at 10:49AM

Yves Guillemot calls for game tax breaks

The man in charge of the world’s third-biggest games publisher insists he’d invest more in Britain if the nation’s development costs fell.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the UK, in terms of game development costs, “doesn’t compete with the possibilities in North America and the rest of the world”.

In a candid interview MCV, Guillemot pledged to invest in the UK if game development tax breaks were introduced. He also said the UK government was taking a “short-term view” in not backing the sector.

“The UK has a strong creative history in the games market and we need to make sure we make games there,” he added.

Any chance for game tax breaks in the UK is now thought to be well off the table. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently expunged any hopes of a Coalition volte-face on the matter.

Ubisoft has made multi-hundred-million dollar investments in two Canadian regions where tax breaks are in force. Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto both have four-digit studio capacities.

The Montreal studio, which benefits from a world-leading 37.5 per cent tax break on production costs, is thought to inhabit over 1,500 staff.

Guillemot’s thoughts on the matter echoed Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who last year said it was “ridiculously expensive to live in the UK, especially in London”.

He previously blasted the Coalition Government’s tax break snub as a “terrible mistake”.

Activision recently closed its Liverpool studio Bizarre Creations, and has removed the safety net from Leamington Spa outfit FreeStyleGames.