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UK games industry angry over govt grey import plans

It'll sap creativity

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The computer games industry has hit out at the government over plans to legalise grey imports.

The European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) says the plan, unveiled by secretary of state for trade and industry Stephen Byers, threatens games developers and publishers in the UK.

Last month Byers announced a joint initiative between the UK and Sweden to lobby to reform trademark legislation and allow grey trading. This would let computer games be imported before they were officially released in the UK.

"I am irate - it seems like pandering to the big supermarket requirement to buy at the cheapest rate," said ELSPA director general Roger Bennett.

Bennett says the proposal would sap creativity and lead to games development moving overseas. "The UK will just become a retail base," he said.

"There is an obvious lack of joined-up government here. The DTI's suggestions will reduce the high level of investment in creative development from publishers....forcing some developers and publishers out of the market all together," added Bennett.

The government argues that getting rid of restrictive distribution would make products cheaper for consumers.

Elspa says it will put forward evidence to show the legislation would harm British industry, and the computer games industry in particular. ®

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