How the UK Video Games Industry can Advance Beyond Brexit

TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, today published Brexit and Beyond: Priorities for the UK Video Games Industry (June 2017). TIGA’s substantive reports sets out a policy agenda for Government, Parliament and policy makers to consider as the UK negotiates its departure from the European Union.

For a copy of the report, please contact: suzi@tiga.org

 

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:

 

“TIGA’s Brexit and Beyond: Priorities for the UK Video Games Industry, sets out a cogent, coherent and constructive agenda for ensuring the UK games sector is a leading player in an industry that is predicted to be worth approximately $100 billion by 2018. If the UK creates a favourable tax environment with an enhanced Games Tax Relief, improves access to finance and enables studios to access talent, then the UK video games industry will both survive and thrive in a post-Brexit world.”

 

The UK video games industry already contributes £1.2 billion to UK GDP. This contribution will increase with the right policy environment in place. TIGA’s Brexit: Priorities for the UK Video Games Industry, has ten key themes:

 

  1. The UK needs a favourable tax environment to encourage businesses to invest in the UK. The Government should consider:
  • increasing the rate of Video Games Tax Relief from 25 to 27.5 or 30 per cent.

 

  1. Access to finance: The UK Government should:
  • introduce a Video Games Investment Fund to provide pound for pound match funding up to a maximum of £200,000 to enable more studios to grow;
  • maintain the UK Games Fund so that start-ups can access funding for prototypes; and
  • increase the amount of money that a company can raise via SEIS investment from £150,000 to £200,000.

 

  1. Access to talent: The UK Government should:

 

The Government should also consider the following options:

  • negotiate a general reciprocal freedom of movement rights for workers with a job offer;
  • negotiate an agreement which retains reciprocal freedom of movement rights for workers in the video games industry;
  • provide approximately 500 Work Permits per annum for the UK video games industry;
  • add roles (e.g. Games Analyst and Engine Programmer) to the Shortage Occupation List where there is a specific skills shortage so that employers can recruit the employees they need without undue delay;
  • ensure that any new immigration arrangements are not complex or costly for business.

 

  1. Exports, trade agreements and tariffs: The UK Government should:
  • negotiate a trade deal with the EU that avoids quotas, tariffs and other barriers to trade to the greatest possible extent;
  • maintain free trade in video games;
  • negotiate trade deals with growing economies;
  • examine the potential for incentivising more businesses to export through the tax system.

 

  1. Intellectual Property: The UK Government should:
  • consider introducing arrangements for the conversion or extension of a EU trademark or registered community design to cover the UK.

 

  1. Data Protection: The UK Government should:
  • adopt and adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure that companies based in the UK and doing business in the EU can continue to smoothly transfer information and data.

 

  1. Higher Education: The UK Government should:
  • make up any short-fall in funding following the UK’s departure from the EU and ensure that any new visa system governing migration does not impair the ability of UK universities to recruit either academic staff or students from the EU.

 

  1. Skills and Training: The advent of Brexit increases the importance of developing a well-educated and highly skilled workforce. The UK Government could consider:
  • conducting a cost/benefit analysis of extending the life of the Skills Investment Fund to maximise investment in skills in the creative industries;
  • allowing the proceeds of the Apprenticeship Levy to be available to fund a variety of good quality courses and not solely apprenticeships so that employers can choose the right training programme to benefit their employees and their businesses;
  • working closely with industry to increase diversity within the sector so that studios can access the widest possible range of skills;
  • examining the case for the introduction of a pilot Training Tax Relief for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to offset expenditure on training against corporation tax.

 

  1. Fiscal policy: The UK Government should consider:
  • increasing investment in infrastructure, including transport and fibre optic broadband, to cushion the UK from the shock of Brexit and to enhance the country’s long term competitiveness, if economic growth falters.

 

  1. A British Games Institute: The UK Government should consider:
  • introducing a British Games Institute (BGI) to drive the video games sector forward. The BGI would focus on: managing TIGA’s long standing proposal for a Games Investment Fund; promoting British games culture; and increasing productivity in the industry.

 

Notes to editors:

 

About TIGA

TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards and commendations and has been successfully accredited as an Investors in People organisation three times. 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 games trade media.

 

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For further information, you can also contact:  Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO by email: richard.wilson@tiga.org