In fighting for tax breaks for game developers in England, Eidos creative director Ian Livingston has discouragingly claimed that industry outsiders see games "as the red-headed stepchild of the creative industries, one notch up from pornography."
A feature from British publication The Guardian investigated the ongoing negotiations between industry members and politicians over a tax break proposal for game developers. Eidos, which feels that lower taxes in foreign countries, particularly America which has seen many states drop business taxes on game companies, costs jobs in England, is becoming increasingly irked by England's government.
"In the past six years, half of the independent UK development studios have already closed or been bought by foreign publishers who see more value in our studios and intellectual property than we do ourselves. We'll end up being a work-for-hire nation," complained Livingston. "The inherent intellectual property that is created at those studios will be foreign-owned, and they can move that IP to be produced wherever they want in the world, if it suits them."
Parliament sees the problem, yet is unwilling to change game business policies until they are given substantial proof that the government taxes are causing the industry's pain in the country.
One politician, Liberal Democrat Don Foster, is standing up for the industry, despite self-identifying "I hardly play any games" because he realizes the importance of the jobs created by this newer form of entertainment.
As discussions wage on without conclusion or action, Livingston is running out of ways to emphasize to Parliament just how important gaming has become as a medium.
He stated, "We're still seen as the red-headed stepchild of the creative industries, one notch up from pornography in the eyes of most of the establishment. They forget that half of the world and half of the UK's population play games. Games help define who we are as human beings - they are as important, culturally and socially, as music and films."