British Chancellor Discusses Economic Policy with Blitz Games CEO

July 20, 2009 -

Relations between the video game industry and the British government continue on the upswing.

In the latest indication of cooperation between the Gordon Brown government and the game biz, Develop reports that U.K. Chancellor Alistair Darling (left) took a meeting in Westminster last week with Blitz Games CEO Philip Oliver.

Darling is responsible for all British economic policy, while Blitz's credits include Fuzion Frenzy. From Develop:

According to a statement, it was Darling who requested to meet with Oliver to discuss the state of the industry and examine policies going forward.



Oliver had presented a list of arguments, arranged in part by the UK games industry body Tiga. He said it was “hugely encouraging” to see the Chancellor consult the games industry on the issues of skills and education...

The Blitz Games chief executive argued that the government should cut tuition fees for undergraduates taking mathematics and computer science degrees.

..

In April, Darling was criticized by Tiga head Richard Wilson for failing to include game developer incentives in the U.K. budget.


Comments

Re: British Chancellor Discusses Economic Policy with Blitz ...

As someone at a developer in the same 'gaming hub' as Blitz (Leamington Spa), I think this is a solid step forward, but clearly much, much more needs to be done by the government for the games industry to match incentives in the likes of Canada and South Korea.

I'm not certain whether cutting tuition fees would necessarily work - at Teesside it remains one of the university's most popular courses, so attracting students isn't a problem, it's funding and ensuring there's an industry available for them to get hired by when they leave.

Re: British Chancellor Discusses Economic Policy with Blitz ...

The trouble isn't getting students onto Games Courses in the UK it is that the majority of the courses do not produce students who can be hired by the industry without being almost completely self taught, in which case they would've been better served by doing a regular computer science degree.

Re: British Chancellor Discusses Economic Policy with Blitz ...

That's why I did a regular Computer Science BSc, it's got a lot more flexibility than a game development degree, and, to be honest, I'm not sure I could program games for a living anyway, for one particular reason. I enjoy writing games, and I think doing it for a living would destroy that enjoyment, I'd certainly never be able to write games for myself any more, regardless of some of the contracts that forbid you from doing so anyway, and that'd ruin it for me.

Games writing degrees are too narrow in aspect for my tastes, it limits you to one aspect of the industry, better to go for something more wide-reaching, get your foot in the door, and then start deciding what direction you want to head in.

 
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