If you're trying to maintain a stable economic environment, it's probably not a good idea to irritate the company behind the one of the biggest-selling entertainment products of 2010. Activision's Bobby Kotick has called the lack of UK games tax aid "a terrible mistake."
The Call of Duty: Black Ops
publisher employs around 600 developers in Slough, and made a mark on the UK games industry with the acquisition of Bizarre Creations and FreeStyleGames. Speaking to the Telegraph
, Kotick lamented the government's decision against industry tax relief, noting that "there are so many other places that are encouraging the video games industry."
Now, the Telegraph does run with the headline that Activision is threatening a pull-out of UK talent, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence in Kotick's word to that effect. We've contacted Activision for clarification.
But there have been moves by the publisher to shirk its relations with the aforementioned UK studios, with Bizarre currently on 90-day notice looking for a buyer. Trade body TIGA has reinforced its urge for government to help support the industry, noting a 9 per cent fall in UK games investment during 2010.