Dundee games development sector : "Useful " meeting with Minister, says MSP

28 October 2010

Marlyn Glen described her meeting yesterday with Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop to discuss the level of Scottish Government assistance to the computer games industry in Dundee as " useful".

Ms. Glen raised a series of issues with the Ms. Hyslop which the Minister will respond to in detail later.

They were based on proposals made by UKIE ( The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment ) as alternative means of supporting the games industry).

These were :

How closely does the Scottish Government or its agencies such as Scottish Enterprise work with UKIE on the development of new business models that encourage growth in the industry ?

An important share of global games sales comes from the development of original IP (Intellectual property) which areas such as Dundee have been strong.

However, with games developers becoming more dependant on overseas publishers for funding , and consequently some being attracted there, what else, beyond the £5 million prototyping project at Abertay, can the Scottish Government do to ensure that our games development base in Scotland is safeguarded and original IP ( Intellectual Property) promoted?

What support does the Scottish Government give in the form of practical guidance and support on how to convert IP(Intellectual Property) into monetary value i.e. placing a price on the work and its potential and its development?

UKIKE say that NESTA ( National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) published a study last year on the high cost of innovation.

They say that NRSTA concluded that most on the UKís investment in innovation takes forms other than conventional scientific research and development, and that as a consequence, itís difficult for the video games industry to benefit entirely from this source of funding.
Is there anything that the Scottish Government can do here?

How much R&D money goes into the video games sector, and could the scope of those eligible to apply for it be widened so that the games sector might benefit?

Last year, the Scottish Digital Media Industry Advisory Group, drew up a Strategy for Scotlandís Digital Media Industry, and in it encouraged the possibility of a pilot scheme that might include non-domestic rates relief for the industry.

Has this pilot been considered for the games sector by the Scottish Government ?

Ms. Glen said,

" Dundee and Tayside already have a significant standing in the UK games development sector despite the decision taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to scrap tax relief for the video games industry, and despite the demise of Realtime Worlds.

"If the UK Government will not provide that tax break then the Scottish Government should re-examine its position on financial support for the industry."


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