TIGA - the trade association representing the UK games industry - has today released new evidence to help support the campaign to gain tax breaks for UK games developers. If successfully implemented by the Coalition Government, Games Tax Relief could create and safeguard 3,366 development jobs and £431 million investment. Read on for details.
Following the 2008 appeal to the Labour government to introduce Games Tax Relief for the development industry, TIGA have produced a new second-edition 85-page document. Written by TIGA, Osborne Clarke and Games Investor Consulting - the independent games research company - who carried out the empirical research, including a census of over 80 per cent of known British games development and publishing companies.
The report's findings state that:
- The UK video games development sector faces significant challenges.
- Headcount has fallen by 9 percent since 2008.
- Between 2008 and September 2010 the UK video games development industry's direct and indirect contribution in tax revenues fell by a total of £55million and the sector's contribution to GDP declined by £132million.
- Games Tax Relief would create over 1,300 new studio jobs.
- 2,427 indirect jobs would also be created with annual tax revenues rising by £126million and GDP contribution by £307million.
- Games Tax Relief would cover: any games development businesses falling within the scope of UK corporation tax that develop a game with a budget of at least £100,000 and which pass a cultural test.
- The tax relief would be calculated and applied in a similar way to the existing tax relief for British films.The tax relief is proportionate and designed to help all kinds of studios – small firms would benefit most and loss-making companies would also benefit.
Of the report, TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson said: "The UK videogames industry is an industry of the future - high tech, highly skilled and export oriented. If the Coalition Government is serious about its intention of rebalancing the economy then it should invest in the UK video games industry by introducing a tax break for games production. Games Tax Relief would create jobs, boost investment and generate much needed tax revenue for the Government."
Jason Kingsley, TIGA chairman and CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion added that: “The global video games market is expected to grow from $52.5 billion in 2009 to $86.8 billion in 2014. . However this growth will happen overseas if we do not invest today. The UK is exceptionally good at developing videogames but we are not competing on a level playing field. Other governments around the world are backing their video games industries. The UK Coalition Government is not. Of course the Government must tackle the deficit, but it must also have a strategy for growth. TIGA's Games Tax Relief will support economic growth and tax revenues. We urge the Government to review our evidence and reopen the discussions on Games Tax Relief.”