TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the UK video games industry, today gave a warm welcome to Sir Peter Bazelgette’s independent review of the creative industries. The review sets out a range of policy ideas for a sector deal within the Government’s industrial strategy, including a proposal that £23.7 million should be invested in the video games sector via the UK Games Fund and Transfuser graduate development programme. The investment in the sector would be spread over five years.
Sir Peter makes a number of recommendations relevant to the video games industry, including:
- investment for cutting-edge, business-led research and innovation projects in immersive reality to ensure the UK takes a global leadership role in developing commercial, cultural and production applications for these technologies;
- the introduction of a £500 million Creative Clusters Fund;
- an increase in the percentage of Innovation UK funding for the creative industries from the current figure of 2 per cent;
- a Government review looking at whether the definition of the R&D tax credit captures legitimate R&D activity within the Creative Industries
- an increase in investment by the British Business Bank into the creative industries.
Sir Peter’s review also notes the case for the introduction of a British Games Institute, a measure supported by TIGA. Sir Peter states: “More recently a number of figures in the industry have proposed an equivalent of the BFI for video games, to promote British games and deliver targeted support. Certainly in the longer term, government should take a more strategic approach to fostering growth in the video games industry and highlighting its cultural impacts.”
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
“TIGA strongly supports the Bazelgette review’s conclusion that the Government should intervene to improve access to finance in the games industry. Access to capital is one of the key factors holding back the sector.
“Maintaining and expanding the role and resources of the U.K. Games Fund is a great idea. This will help many small developers to access capital to grow their studios.
“TIGA also believes that the Government should establish TIGA’s proposed Games Investment Fund. This would provide grants and pound for pound matched funding for developers. TIGA’s Games Investment Fund could be managed by the U.K. Games Talent and Finance Community Interest Company or by the proposed British Games Institute.”