TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video game industry, has responded to today’s Budget announcement, calling for optimism and saying that whilst it was disappointing not to hear definitive news on Games Tax Relief (GTR), the Government made clear its on-going support for the measure. All parties involved, from the DCMS to the Treasury and TIGA itself, continue to work hard on securing a green light from the European Union (EU) commission.
TIGA’s own research shows 95% of UK games businesses are export focused, so welcome measures in the 2014 budget included the doubling of direct lending from Government to UK businesses for exports to £3bn, and a cut in the interest rates on that lending by a third.
Also reassuring was the increase to the rate of R&D tax credits available for loss-making small businesses from 11% to 14.5%.
With regard to GTR, the Budget did contain some minor changes in that, subject to EU approval, it will be extended to cover goods and services provided from within the European Economic Area, with a cap on eligible subcontracting spending of £1 million per game.
Ultimately, until the measure, which would decisively reduce the cost of games development in the UK, is approved and implemented, the UK video game industry will not be competing on a level playing field in the global video game market.
TIGA conceived and launched the campaign for GTR nearly seven years ago, and is the only UK trade association that has consistently campaigned both publicly and privately for tax relief for Britain’s games development sector.
TIGA has submitted extensive and compelling evidence to the Commission, co-ordinating its efforts with the UK Government and its partners in the European Games Developers’ Federation (EDGF) based on the following four key arguments:
- Video games are cultural products equal to other audio-visual creations (e.g. film) and so merit similar support
- GTR is necessary: many games made in the UK are made with an international or Americanised theme, with culturally British elements eliminated; employment in the UK development sector shrunk by 7% between 2008 and 2012; annual investment was approximately £30 million lower in 2012 compared to 2008; and the UK’s development sector has been hit by a brain drain with 41% of the jobs lost between 2009 and 2011 relocating overseas to countries offering tax breaks or similar support.
- GTR will not distort the EU’s internal market
- GTR’s cultural test is sufficiently restrictive, the rate of tax relief is appropriately limited and the scope of the relief is suitably curtailed.
Dr. Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, commented:
“In spite of the lack of a definitive update on GTR, there were encouraging signs for our industry in this Budget, not least the UK Government’s on-going support for the measure, and commitment to securing a green light from the EU commission.
“TIGA’s campaign for Games Tax Relief will go on. We stand ready to provide further evidence to the Government and to the EU Commission to make the case for this vital measure and to advance the interests of developers and digital publishers.”
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK video game industry. We help developers and digital publishers build successful studios, network with the right people, save money and access professional business advice. We also have traditional publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.
TIGA is 90% funded by independent UK businesses. 80% of our board members are developers and/or from UK owned businesses, and 50% of our board are UK business owners themselves. Since 2010, TIGA has won 16 business awards. TIGA focuses on three sets of activities:
- Political representation
- Media representation
- Business services
This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. It also means our members’ voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video game trade media.
Get in touch:
Tel: 0845 468 2330
For further information, you can also contact:
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email: email@example.com
Drew Field, TIGA Communications Director on: 07720 643 344, or email firstname.lastname@example.org