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Kotick: For Activision To Invest In UK, 'There Needs To Be An Incentive'

Kotick: For Activision To Invest In UK, 'There Needs To Be An Incentive'

June 29, 2010 | By Chris Remo

June 29, 2010 | By Chris Remo
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Major publishers Activision and Sony have expressed frustration with the UK's recent withdrawal of game tax breaks, as Activision CEO Bobby Kotick warns his company will not invest further in the UK without tax relief or other financial benefits.

"For us to continue to invest in the UK there needs to be an incentive provided for us to do so," Kotick said in a Financial Times report that comes on the heels of the publisher joining UK trade body TIGA.

Sony Computer Entertainment UK head Ray Maguire said Sony would not waylay its existing plans in the UK, but that "any further new developments would have to be looked at." He said that in the absence of tax breaks, "maybe something that was planned for the UK would go abroad now."

Sony has significant development operations in the UK -- six of its 15 internal Worldwide Studios are located there, including SCE London Studio, Media Molecule, Evolution Studios, and others. Activision has only two UK studios, the racing-centric Bizarre Creations and DJ Hero developer FreeStyleGames. Both companies also maintain publishing operations in the UK.

Kotick pointed to increasingly competitive game industry incentives abroad as creating a greater need for the UK government to provide its own tax relief, an argument frequently employed by UK game developers and TIGA.

"The talent pool in the UK is among the best in the world for what we do," Kotick said. "But we really need to see some more incentives. We are seeing great incentives in Canada, Singapore and eastern bloc countries."


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