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UK Politician Ed Balls Calls Lack Of Game Industry Support 'Madness'

UK Politician Ed Balls Calls Lack Of Game Industry Support 'Madness'

August 20, 2010 | By Kris Graft

August 20, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

UK Labour party leadership candidate Ed Balls called out UK game industry tax break opponents on Friday, saying in a blog post that the government should "rethink axed support for video games industry."

His comments come days after Dundee, Scotland-based APB and Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds went into administration, costing hundreds of area jobs.

"The Tory-Lib Dem government is putting the future of the computer games industry in Scotland at risk," said Balls. "The terrible news this week about Realtime Worlds could be just the start unless the coalition government rethinks its decisions which are costing jobs and risking the recovery."

Earlier this year, promises of UK game industry tax breaks -- which the country's Labour party advocated -- were quashed by the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition.

Balls directly blamed the lack of tax breaks for Realtime Worlds' current financial peril. "While Labour set out plans to support the industry in March, the new government axed it in June and the result is job losses in Dundee in August."

He added, "These are the stark consequences of a government which cuts at any cost and seems to think that unemployment is a price worth paying."

Realtime was a well-funded operation and employed over 300 workers across locations in Dundee and Boulder, CO in the U.S. The company released Crackdown on Xbox 360 in 2007 and earlier this year, the expensive cops and crooks online action game APB, which was a commercial failure. Realtime's administrators are currently trying to keep the game running.

Balls said, "It is economic madness to be cutting support for industry and high-skilled jobs at this time. Thatís why I am calling on the Tory-Lib Dem government to urgently rethink this decision."

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