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While Britain and the rest of the Europe gets its collective undies in a twist over a potential UK referendum on membership in the European Union, games developers weighed the pros and cons of such a move.
Speaking to Here Is The City, a number of gaming bigwigs offered up their opinions on the EU and what it means for the local gaming industry, with some suggesting that it’s better out than in as the international body stops the British governemnt from supporting its homegrown studios.
“The games tax relief that Tiga campaigned for and won in the April budget that comes into effect this year, for companies to benefit from that tax relief they have to pass a cultural test and that’s a requirement of the European Union,” commented Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of UK developers’ trade body Tiga.
“If we had a looser arrangement with Europe then it’s possible the government might have more leeway and might be able to support specific industries with tax credits, with tax breaks, which might not necessarily have to be run by Europe at all.”
2000AD head honcho and Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley agreed, saying that he didn’t see the value of the international trading body now that digital distrubtion allowed for unhindered worldwide releases.
“I haven’t seen any barriers to distribution of our digital titles like Judge Dredd vs Zombies, or Zombie HQ or Guns 4 Hire anywhere yet,” he told the site.
“Whether we are in or out of the European project, I can’t imagine this changing.”
However, Dominic Wheatley, CEO of Kuju and its parent Catalis, dashed these tax-cut dreams by pointing to the fickle nature of government handouts.
“I would not be driven by the tax benefits, as welcome as they are, because they may disappear with the next government, but dealing with Europe or being able to deal with Europe is a far bigger, more important element in the industry,” he concluded.