The second industry organisation in the UK is TIGA, which stands for Independent Games Developers Trade Association. Once again it isn’t what it says it is with publishers, non independent developers and others in it’s 157 strong membership. TIGA lobby government just as ELSPA do on pretty much the same issues. This is needless duplication. TIGA are currently advertising for a new chief executive at £50-60K. It would be so tempting to take this job and then immediately amalgamate with ELSPA.
The thing is that Britain really need two industry organisations. But not the two that it has.
The first need is for an all encompassing British trade body. One that includes retail, publishing, the press, development, education and all the other sectors that make up our industry. Each sector would have it’s own sub group within the organisation to look after their special interests. The total organisation would be big and would talk for a significant chunk of the economy. This would give it real clout in all it’s dealings. So it would be far better able to do a good job and represent the industry properly. It would also be able to afford the staff to get the job done.
The second need is for a Games Council, just like there is a Film Council and a Music Council. It’s job would be to develop the industry strategically from a public interest point of view. So it would be funded by government. Obviously the chances of achieving this with the level of ignorance displayed by the current UK government is precisely zero.
Obviously this isn’t going to happen. The most important function of any organisation is to secure it’s own survival, this comes before doing their job properly. So ELSPA and TIGA are hardly likely to vote themselves out of existence. I was a member of the Games Industry Forum which meets under the aegis of the former DTI in London. When I put forwards the Games Council idea at a Forum meeting it was talked down by the ELSPA representative. He didn’t want anything that could threaten his own orginisation’s pre-eminence, no matter how good it may be for the industry.