As we negotiate a new course following Brexit in favour of a ‘global UK’, it will be vitally important to support those industries where the UK already has a competitive advantage, which provide high skilled employment and which are export focused. The UK video games sector is one such industry. The sector already has a critical mass of talent, with 12,600 skilled development staff employed in 1,000 companies, supported by a world class higher education system.
In advance of the General Election on June 8th 2017, TIGA, the network for games developers, digital publishers and games education and service providers, has set out a vision for how we can grow the UK video games industry. Between 2017 and 2022, TIGA wants the UK to achieve:
- growth in studio employment from 12,600 to 17,500;
- an increase in the overall studio population from 800 games studios to 1,200;
- an expansion in the overall games development business population (including publishers, service companies and broadcasters) from 1,000 organisations to 1,400;
- an increase in annual investment by games development companies from £600 million to £840 million;
- an increase in GDP contribution from £1.3 billion to £1.8 billion per annum; and
- for the UK to become a globally recognised centre for games education and continuous professional development (CPD) in the sector’s workforce.
TIGA will aim to achieve this vision by working with the Government and Parliament to adopt TIGA’s manifesto proposals.
TIGA’s Manifesto Proposals:
- Retain and improve both Video Games Tax Relief (by increasing the rate of Relief to at least 27.5 per cent) and the Research and Development Tax Credits to ensure that the UK has one of the most favourable tax regimes for the video games industry in the world.
- Introduce a Video Games Investment Fund to provide pound for pound match funding, up to a maximum of £200,000, for original IP game projects to improve games businesses’ ability to access finance.
- Maintain support for the UK Games Talent and Finance CIC in order to provide financial support for prototypes and skills development.
- Enable UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers (Tier 1 and Tier 2 workers) from the EU and the wider world.
- Increase the amount of money that a company can raise via Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) investment from £150,000 to £200,000 per annum.
- Negotiate a UK-EU trade deal that to the greatest possible extent avoids quotas, tariffs and other barriers to trade. Free trade in video games already exists and this should be maintained.
- Strengthen high technology video games clusters around the UK.
- Encourage skills and training via the Skills Investment Fund (SIF) and by making the Apprenticeship Levy more flexible and effective.
- Strengthen higher education by making up any short-fall in funding following the UK’s departure from the EU and by ensuring that any new visa system governing migration from the EU does not impair the ability of UK universities to recruit either academic staff or students from the EU.
- Establish a British Games Institute to drive the video games sector forward and to promote the cultural, creative and economic impact of video games in the UK.
TIGA will play its part in strengthening the UK video games industry by:
1. Accrediting at least 30 UK video games degree courses via TIGA’s effective and efficient University Accreditation System to ensure that more UK universities are providing games businesses with the skilled graduates that they need.
2. Measuring industry investment in CPD.
3. Providing an authoritative source of data on the state of the UK video games industry.
4. Promoting best practice, sharing knowledge and celebrating success by delivering the annual TIGA Games Industry Awards and by publishing practical business guides for the industry.
The UK video games industry provides high skilled employment in high technology studios and exports content all over the world. The Parliament and Government that is elected on June 8th have an opportunity to back successful industries with potential, including the video games sector. Reinforcing successful sectors in expanding markets will help to grow exports, employment and investment.
If you share TIGA’s vision, support this Manifesto and want to make it a reality, then get in touch to discuss joining TIGA and/or sponsoring our campaign. To receive a copy of the TIGA Manifesto, Reinforcing Success: Growing the UK Games Industry, please email Suzi Stephenson (firstname.lastname@example.org).