Ireland targets Scottish games industry

APB developer being wooed by potential Irish tax breaks; would give the proposals "serious consideration."

The UK games industry has been struggling to keep hold of developers for some time now, thanks to the efforts of countries such as Canada to subsidise game development and lure talent to its shores. It now looks like there is another threat even closer to home, with pressure growing in Ireland to poach British developers to boost the country's ailing economy.

The Irish countryside has its advantages.

According to Scotland's Sunday Herald, Dundee-based Realtime Worlds would consider the overtures from the Emerald Isle. Colin McDonald, studio manager at the APB developer, told the paper, "Dundee is a great place to be based, one of the main hubs for computer games in Britain, but at the end of the day we’ve got to look after our bottom line."

"Ireland is a lot closer to home than Canada, so Scottish policy-makers should regard it as a potentially serious threat. They need to make sure there's a level playing field here or they will lose some of us and lose out on a potential boom," he continued.

The explicit threat of Irish subsidies--a five-year tax holiday for game development is reportedly one of the measures under consideration--looks likely to provide the incumbent Scottish National Party government a reason to continue to push for greater independence for the country. This is in addition to increased powers for its devolved regional assembly, which does not currently have the authority to implement tax breaks of its own, relying instead on progress on that front in Westminster.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga--the trade body that represents British game developers--welcomed the fact that members of the Scottish Parliament were supporting the industry and calling for tax breaks.

Talking to GameSpot UK, Wilsonsaid, "We'd be very happy to get [a tax break] in Scotland, but in time we'd have to have one for all the UK," rather than a "messier" patchwork system. He also indicated that Tiga had been lobbying Westminster MPs for Scottish constituencies to make sure they offer their support to companies such as Realtime Worlds and others in Westminster by backing plans for a UK-wide change to regulations, rather than a system that would not be of benefit to all.

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30 comments
THORINATOR
THORINATOR

Nice comment down below regarding Ireland being run by IRA & gangsters...i suppose we could say the same in relation to england being run by BNP & the conservatives! Get a life you idiot.It's know wonder most of Scotland want independence from from small minded idiots like yourself!Really my man maybe you should learn some facts about your neighbours before you go spouting out a load of crap.

McLarty
McLarty

See in Scotland the main export is fish.. Which is not the most demanding export in the world. It would be good to see Scotland become financialy independant through video games. Also as next year i am going to college to study Video Game animation In Glasgow

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

If Scotland can stand on its own two feet economically, then they deserve to be independent. As for us in Wales, we can't. We can't support ourselves financially and have to rely on Westminster. I know who to blame for this and that's Maggie Thatcher.

kyphe
kyphe

I see nothing here that merits a comment on Scottish independence since it is clearly stated Scotland can implement these tax breaks without any debate or outside approval. However the people in the article understand that acting unilaterally across the UK is best policy overall. I suppose the one good thing about scottish independence is Gordon brown would either have to become English or feck off from downing st lol

cube-gage
cube-gage

Oh come on. Scotland does quite fine under the UK, I know our leaders are scum, and injustice is all over UK government and probably always will be but ending the Union is not going to change things. Ireland is a country run by IRA and Gangsters. Seriously Scotland dont wish to end the Union. Just look at what we achieved together.

Paul2004
Paul2004

This is exactly why Scotland should be free to do as we wish, a united Scotland were we decide everything instead of as it is. Yes im a scot and i want independance, so we can decide our own future without anyone else interfering. Gaming is a rapidly expanding industry, many others have already welcomed and supported this yet we're stuck with this. Give the developers some support already or let someone else in who will !

aslkyu
aslkyu

Better us than the Welsh for feck sake.........

Quofan
Quofan

Another reason besides countless others why we should get our independence from the UK. Sometimes I feel we are nothing more than a region of the UK, as proved by the fact we get so few MEP's (its recently dropped to four), whereas Ireland gets fourteen, yet has a million less in population. This national cringe has to stop - we are capable of so much more than 'relying on England' - after all, we are the only UK country that does not add to the national debt. Finance, Oil, Computer games, Forestry, Fishing. We have the economic clout contrary to some people, yet we still are not being allowed a say in our country's future. Its nice to have read in the newspapers that the SNP are recognising Scottish gaming acheivements as well, while most other parties still seem take a dull view of gaming, thinking it's not particularly useful to the economy. Obviously, that is nonsense, but try telling them that.No doubt Westminster will ignore this potential threat to our economy. Then have the indecency to use it as an excuse as to why we should remain in the UK.

THORINATOR
THORINATOR

Yeah, we sure could do with encouraging gaming developers to set up shop in Ireland! Nice to hear they'll be getting tax breaks, while the rest of us are getting hammered by tax. Oh well, i guess that would be down to those muppets that we call a government,lol.

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

I've been to the Burren in County Clare last year. I have to say the the Irish are actually in a world of their own. That's a good thing. I was there for a week for my Terrestrial Field Ecology module, the landscape there was beautiful. The locals are really, really friendly and sangs songs to us students of Aberystwyth Uni. They are definitely a lot more friendlier than us Welsh. My best mate went to Scotland a few times, he really liked it too I would love to go to Scotland and Ireland sometime.

IrishBulldog93
IrishBulldog93

well im glad to see developers are finally paying attention to us !! when i leave school im going to go on to do a coarse in something to do with game development and the more company's that come over here the less chance of me moving abroad !!

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

LinkMaster9
LinkMaster9

Cool nice to see Ireland mentioned cuz I'm Irish! Woohoo for Ireland!

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

So tax breaks are pretty much short term fix but not necessarily good in the long term?

Balmane
Balmane

Cool Ireland is actually mentioned on GS.I'm Irish and we are failing cuz the government sucks but of course this will be good for jobs.

david1233
david1233

this is the first time i've ever heard of ireland mentioned in any sort of gaming news. and yeah, i'm irish wooh!!!

aero250
aero250

@david1233 And im Scottish woohoo!

david1233
david1233

This the first time i've ever heard my country mentioned in any sort of gaming news =] and im irish wooh!

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

The thing about tax breaks is that they are temporary, companies relying on these would then struggle again. Do they keep moving to countries that offer tax breaks or do they knuckle down and try to create a profitable business, other business have to do this, why should the game industry be any different.

il0x0li
il0x0li

I live a few hundred meters away from Rockstar here in Edinburgh. :D

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

I live in Wales and know nothing about Scottish politics. So is it a good thing for Scotland to have independence?

dundee85
dundee85

dont go reatime, i live in Dundee and one of the only good things about this dull city is it has many computer games developers here. This is the birthplace of the grand theft auto series!

Cillerboy
Cillerboy

this would be great for emplyment in ireland! woo haha

Cabal23
Cabal23

Maybe if they included a pint of beer it might go over better.