France is trying to seduce game developers to France, and game developer trade association TIGA is rightly concerned that, facing either Brexit or a trip over to France, a lot of developers might pick the country that hasn't recently inspired a grim dystopian sandbox. It's called on the UK government to make the country a more tantalising place for the videogame industry.
TIGA has asked the government to continue the Video Games Tax Relief, as well as increase the level of relief from 25 to 30 percent. Research commissioned by the trade association suggests that this five percent boost would result in 700 jobs, £95 million in development expenditure and £86 million in taxes.
A Video Games Investment Fund has also been proposed to encourage studio growth and get more original games out the door. Over five years, TIGA says its research predicts 1,500 jobs and £197 million in extra tax revenue. There's already the UK Games Fund, which provides up to £25,000 in funding for UK game devs, especially at the early stage of development, and TIGA suggests continuing and enhancing that, as well.
Finally, TIGA asks that whatever the immigration system looks like post-Brexit, it still enables videogame businesses to recruit people from overseas. Specifically, it wants the government to retain the existing roles on the Shortage Occuptation List, which lists all the jobs where there aren't enough residents who can fill the open positions, as well as adding new ones where there's a shortage of prospective workers.
"The UK video games development sector is a success story," says TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson. "Employment and investment in the sector reached record levels in 2018 and our industry’s contribution to GDP reached an all-time high of £1.8 billion.
"Yet we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Governments in other jurisdictions will continue to seek to attract our successful studios and talented development staff. We now need to reinforce our success by retaining and enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, establishing a Video Games Investment Fund to improve studios' access to finance, continuing to strengthen education and skills and enabling studios to access highly skilled people from overseas following Brexit."
It's a lot to ask a government that hasn't even figured out how to do Brexit. France, meanwhile, is offering a 30 percent tax incentive, a fund that subsidises original work, and equity loans for up to €2 million/£1.8 million that companies pay back based on company growth. It's also got better weather and food.