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MCV 13/08/10 93

TAG-TEAM INTERVIEW Miles Jacobson, Managing Director, Sports Interactive

This week, Miles Jacobson asks industry veteran Andy Payne about tax breaks, football and his unique dancing skills...


How well is GamesAid doing? GamesAid is making real progress and has already made a difference. The volunteers – whether they be trustees, ambassadors and members – have come together in a completely new democratic and inclusive way and it is amazing how much positive energy everyone has. They just want to help people and we are only at the start of something very big and very special. Big Society? GamesAid was there three years ago!

As well as your GamesAid chair, you are also chair of ELSPA. What was your initial reaction to tax breaks being cancelled, and has that feeling changed since? We were disappointed that the tax breaks were cancelled, but I had warned that this could happen as neither the Conservative or Liberal Democrats mentioned them in their election manifestos. I am committed to ensuring that the Government understands just what is happening within our industry – namely that the UK is competing directly with Canada, France, USA, Australia and others and our skills, experience and expertise are at risk. At the top end of our creative and technical talent pipeline our people are poached, mainly by Canada. We need to get our industry and universities to work even more closely together. And we need to show primary and secondary education students and their parents

that this business offers amazing careers if they follow the right path.

How do you handle as many businesses and committees as you do, and still find time to go to the World Cup? Life is all about commitment, energy, being positive, laughter, loyalty, camaraderie, passion, and above all looking out for your friends and family. All these ‘things’ you mention require those attributes in some measure and given that there are 24 hours in a day, there is no excuse not to have a full

life is there? Carpé Diemor Oblige Noblesse, they both work, but ‘Above All, Have Fun’ sums it all up for me.

If you had the choice of being a pro footballer, a rock

star or doing what you do, which would you choose? Sounds naff, but doing what I do, all day long. Where else would I get to meet lovely, inspiring people, do fun things

and work in a creative industry? But if you pushed me, for dramatic effect, it would be music over football any day.

As well as going to watch England, you’re also an ardent West Ham fan. Which is more important to you – an England win, or a West Ham win?

It is not the winning, it is the taking part, which is rather handy given

both West Ham and England’s ability to win anything. It does rather depend on the game though. Having been at every single England and West Ham match of

major significance in the last 30 years –

you know, the ones

where we get beaten on penalties and TV replays them time and time again – I was more gutted when we lost the 2006 FA Cup final than the 1990 World Cup semi final, I have to admit.

Your dancing is pretty legendary and unique – what do you call your style? I call it dancing. Others, led by my often insubordinate wife, Kirsty, call it ‘weird and flamboyant’. Honed down the years at Heaven and The Hacienda, it is a fusion of ‘80s disco, Northern Soul, Hi Energy, Ska and Rave. Like everything else I do, I like to dance with passion. I am half Italian after all – what do you expect?

If you were only allowed to play one game ever again, what would you choose? Championship, sorry, Football Manager. Or FIFA. Or PES. Actually it’s probably Sensible Soccer.

Thanks for your time, Andy. Who have you chosen to be the next in the Tag Team chain? Nintendo’s David Yarnton.


FROM THE ARCHIVE September 17th 1999

NEWS PlayStation 2 is announced, with the eagerly- awaited console set to launch in Japan on March 2nd. Significantly, the console will be able play PSOne games, as well as DVDs – which seals the success of the machine from day one… Tesco ups the ante in the console retail price war, selling the PSOne at £69.99. The machines are grey imports, with a Tesco spokesperson telling MCV that Sony “is still refusing to deal with us”. Surprise, surprise, it takes some time before the format holder does start dealing with the supermarket… A flurry of BarbieCD-ROMs (remember them?) are billed as Mattel’s ‘secret weapon’ for Christmas… Retail reacts in horror as Nintendo reveals that Donkey Kong 64will have an RRP of £59.99…

CHARTS: ALL FORMATS TOP FIVE 1. C&C Tiberian Sun........................EA/Westwood 2. WWF: Attitude........................................Acclaim 3. Tekken 3....................................................Namco 4. LOK: Soul Reaver......................................Eidos 5. Colin McRae Rally.......................Codemasters

AND FINALLY Rumours abound that Microsoft is developing a games console. MCVspeculates that the codename for the unit is ‘Xbox’ and that the ‘evil empire’ will be buying a major publisher to create software for the format. One out of two ain’t bad…

MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are...

Andy Payne Mastertronic/GamesAid/ELSPA

Neil Ashurst, GAME & Gamestation

Andrew Thompson, Asda

Marc Spence, Best Buy

Don McCabe, CHIPS

Tim Ellis, HMV

Keith Sharpe,

Sarah Jasper, The Hut

Nick Sultanti, Morrisons

Azeem Sadiq, Comet

Graham Chambers, Amazon

Danielle Fleming, DSGi

Igor Cipolletta, ShopTo

Anthony Stocker, Argos

Stephen Staley, Gameseek

Joanna Hunt, Tesco

Gurdeep Hunjan, Sainsbury’s

Phil Moore, Grainger Games

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