Britain down on games development chart

Written by Joe Martin

July 5, 2007 | 15:02

Tags: #britain #chart #develop #developer #development #doak #england #free #radical #ranking

Companies: #government #uk

Remember the good old days? Days of the BBC Micro, Lemmings and Cannon Fodder? Days later filled with Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper and other decent British games?

Well, you can forget about all that now.

It's not really surprising news, but it's finally been made official; the UK games development scene just isn't what it used to be.

According to recent rankings, the UK has fallen from being the third most prominent games developing nation to the fourth most prominent. Or, to put it bluntly, we now make even less games than Canada does.

It's a crying shame that the only definitely recent British games which crop straight to our minds are those from indie developer Introversion. It's also something which has been previously lamented by David Doak of Free Radical, makers of Timesplitters and the upcoming Haze.

In a previous interview at, David said;

"The UK Government needs to do something more useful than just criticizing violent content in video games. They love the British film industry and stuff and are prepared to give it money [...] yet they'll stand around watching video game developers losing staff."

This sentiment has been echoed by the UKs Minister for Creative Industries, who has called a second time for a a games academy to be founded within the UK. Speaking to MCV, Shaun Woodward said;

"Video games have become an incredibly important industry, but our superiority in this sector cannot be taken for granted. In the last six months the UK has slipped from the third largest manufacturer to the fourth - behind Canada. We need a games academy for graduate studies. We need to attract the right talent and fund and support the industry."

Should the government do more to encourage the continuation of the British games industry, or should developers take responsibility themselves? What was it that made British games so great anyway? Drop your opinions off in the forums.
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