"BBC should support small UK devs"

Written by Joe Martin

December 15, 2009 | 11:59

Tags: #gamers-voice #labour #tom-watson

Companies: #bbc #indie #uk

Labour MP Tom Watson, founder of the pressure group Gamers' Voice, has called on the BBC to support the UK games industry - especially smaller companies and indie developers.

"I'd like it reflected in their output and in the way they procure games and digital content," Watson told GI.biz when asked about the cultural inequality between the UK film and games industries, the latter of which is more profitable.

"The BBC have spent GBP 1 billion on their website since 1994 - they could have breathed life into a lot of gaming companies if they'd got their contracts right and been generous with their licensing," he continued.

For non-UK readers; the BBC is the UK's primary TV corporation and is funded by a license fee which is currently GBP £142.50 (USD $231.50) annually for every household that owns a TV. That fee gets you access to BBC channels and funds the development of programmes - though gaming-focused shows are...well, pretty non-existent.

"I'm not blaming the BBC as all this is new and fast-moving, but I would like to see a point where they can use their muscle to help the small guys in the industry to get on with making great games, great applications. Yeah, sure, use it on the BBC site but let the developer go and come up with a commercial offer around that as well.

"I just think it needs the BBC to be a little more agile with small games businesses," he added. "They could really, really help if they used their clout to bring a bit of life to it."

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