Keith Ramsdale, the Electronic Arts' VP and GM for Northern Europe, has said that the videogames business community should be taking a pragmatic view of the ongoing debate regarding tax breaks for the industry in the UK.
His comments were made following publishing giant Activision Blizzard's CEO, Bobby Kotick, declared that the rejection of the measures to be taken promised by the prior administration and reversed by the coalition government as "a terrible mistake" earlier in the week
. Ramsdale further added on the matter that:
"We're not going to suddenly be handed a great big tax relief bill when the government's facing the economic issues it is - I think that cuts to the chase on this."
"But consumers are being faced with austerity measures, and I don't think it looks great on a company to be bleating loudly that we want our P&L to look better by having tax credits given to us by the very government that's having to pass these austerity measures onto consumers."
Ramsdale added that a long-term conversation needed to take place between the government and the games industry to ensure business measures were accessible for games companies, find ways to improve industry skills and also to make sure the industry would be considered for additional support when the economy sees growth once again. He also pleaded for unity between the organisations UKIE and TIGA, hoping that future talks with the government would remain consistent an highlighted the UK film industry receiving tax breaks as a sign that the UK videogames industry was being assigned less importance as a result.
He added some final thoughts on the state of the videogame industry and its current growth in the world, stating:
"It's interesting actually, because people are looking at the growth of the videogames industry and declines based on year-on-year revenues in the market - but what they're not looking at is the overall picture to include all forms of gaming. Mobile, digital, new devices - it's still very much an industry that's on the rise."