Minister pledges support for games industry

E-Commerce Minister Douglas Alexander today unveiled Government plans to conduct a major new competitiveness analysis of the UK computer games industry and support for a games industry mission to Japan.

Mr Alexander was speaking during a visit with Lord Puttnam to theInternational Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment (IC CAVE) at Dundee’s Abertay University.

‘Our new competitiveness study will provide valuable independent data and a definitive analysis of the industry’s strengths as well as opportunities for growth,’ said Mr Alexander. ‘If the industry is to enjoy long-term success, we must make an effort to develop best practice across industry and identify opportunities for new markets.

‘Equally as vital is to minimise threats to our future success. That’s where this study will come in.’

Building on the Government’s commitment to the computer games sector, the Minister also pledged support for an industry mission to Japan.

The mission, to be led by Dr Jim Terkeurst, lecturer in computer arts and research at the IC CAVE in Dundee, in November, will be supported through the DTI’s International Technology Service.

The mission aims to investigate best practice in games development and represent the UK developers in the important Japanese market.

According to figures recently released by the games publishers’ trade association, the European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), the UK market for computer games grew again in 2000 to reach £934.4m.

The UK represents the world’s third largest market for games after the US and Japan with 20,000 people employed in development, publishing and distribution.

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