TIGA hails strong new figures for Games Tax Relief

By February 4, 2016Press Releases

New figures released by BFI show that 237 games received certification or interim certification in 2015 with EEA/UK budgets totalling nearly three-quarters of a billion pounds

TIGA, the trade association representing the games industry, today welcomed new figures from BFI showing that 116 video games received final certification for Games Tax Relief (GTR) last year, with EEA/UK spend of £181m. Additionally, 121 games received interim certification for GTR, with combined EEA/UK budgets of £548m. In total, 237 games received interim or final certification, with UK budgets totalling £728.9m.

Similar to UK Film Tax Relief, games which pass a cultural test can apply for tax relief, substantially reducing the cost of game development. TIGA’s work to create GTR enables the UK games development sector to compete on a more level playing field with Canada and the USA, which both provide tax reliefs and a range of incentives for games businesses.  

Video Games Tax Relief effectively reduces of the cost of games development. Over 5 years, Video Games Tax Relief could create over 2,700 new studio jobs, increase investment from games development companies by £320 million, increase tax receipts by £460 million and add an additional £1.11 billion contribution to UK GDP.

The UK has the highest number of games development companies and publishers in Europe. In the UK, the games industry employs 26,000 people and is worth £1.34 billion in sales.

To build on the success of GTR, TIGA recommended that the Government should consider:

  • Increasing the £1 million limit on subcontracting that currently exists under the rules for GTR. This is because for large projects it is the norm rather than the exception to spend more than £1 million on subcontracting partners. Additional outsourcing work follows with content updates under the games as a service model. Increasing the outsourcing limit could benefit smaller UK games businesses involved in the supply chain and help to build up their skills, talent and capacity.
  • Promote GTR to ensure that more small studios benefit from the Relief and that more global publishers are attracted to the UK.
  • Monitor analogous reliefs around the world in order to ensure that the UK’s GTR is ‘best in class’.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO at TIGA, said:

“Games Tax Relief has played a key part in reviving the UK video games industry and helped the sector grow by almost 10 per cent in 2014. Today’s figures from the BFI show that the GTR is helping the production of more culturally British video games and boosting investment into the sector. Yet we can do more. In particular, we should examine the case for increasing the £1 million subcontracting limit that GTR currently operates under, promote GTR at home and abroad and work to ensure that more developers use this valuable Tax Relief.”

Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO at Rebellion and Chair of TIGA, said:

The UK is unparalleled in terms of creativity and craft, and Games Tax Relief is finally allowing our industry to thrive. Making high-quality video games is an art form, and it is fantastic that the UK Government has introduced this benefit previously reserved for the film industry. It signifies that games are not just for gamers: they are a hugely valuable element of our economy.”

Chris Kingsley, CTO at Rebellion, said:

“Games Tax Relief can help studios of all sizes to grow and to compete. Although there was a long campaign to achieve Games Tax Relief, we can see from these figures that the campaign was worthwhile. In the future we need to see more small and medium-sized developers benefit from Games Tax Relief.”



About TIGA

TIGA is a not for profit network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. 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 24 business awards and commendations, an achievement which demonstrates our drive to meet and to exceed best practice. TIGA focuses on three sets of activities: 


·         political representation;

·         profile raising; and

·         business services.

This means that TIGA members’ voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in the international, national, regional and trade media. TIGA’s activities also serve to enhance 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. Get in touch: 

·         Tel: 0845 468 2330

·         Email: info@tiga.org 

·         Web: www.tiga.org 

·         Twitter: www.twitter.com/tigamovement 

·         Facebook: www.facebook.com/TIGAMovement 

·         LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/tiga 

·         Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, richard.wilson@tiga.org