UK Games Industry To Get Tax Breaks
Peter Donnell / 5 years ago
Chancellor George Osborne revealed in his Budget speech, that the games industry will benefit from a scheme similar to that currently enjoyed by the UK film industry, “subject to State aid approval and following consultation.” No specific details were announced.
Chancellor Osborne originally scrapped plans to implement UK tax breaks for games when the Coalition Government came into power in 2010.
The news will be received with great jubilation by the UK industry, which has seen studios close and professionals move in large numbers to more lucrative countries such as Canada, which enjoys a generous tax break scheme.
In June 2010, it was reported that the domestic games development workforce had fallen by a shocking 44 studios – six percent – since 2008.
Most recent casualties include APB and Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds which was forced to shut its doors, while Blur and Project Gotham maker Bizarre Creations was closed by Activision.
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK Games Industry, called the Government’s announcement a “brilliant” decision and “terrific” news for the games development sector.
“Tax relief for the video games sector will increase employment, innovation and investment in the UK video games industry,” said CEO Dr Richard Wilson.
“Our research shows that Games Tax Relief should generate and safeguard: 4,661 direct and indirect jobs; £188 million in investment expenditure by studios; increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283 million; generate £172 million in new and protected tax receipts to HM Treasury, and could cost just £96 million over five years.”
Karl Hilton, MD of Crytek UK, added: “This is the right decision for the future of the UK games industry and consumers across the world who enjoy playing British made games. TIGA’s victory will enable the UK games sector to compete on a more even playing field. It will also promote the creation of high skilled jobs, enhance investment and stimulate an export focussed industry.”
London-based games lawyer, Jas Purewal believes it will take at least a year to get the tax breaks off the ground “from an EU and practical perspective”.