TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, said today that the UK Government needs to ensure that the economic environment remains highly favourable for the UK video games industry. TIGA made the comments following the French Government’s launch of a campaign to lure UK games businesses across the Channel.
TIGA urged the UK Government to consider the following policy measures:
- Retain and enhance Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) by increasing the level of relief from 25 per cent to 30 per cent to stimulate further investment. Research commissioned by TIGA suggests that a 5% increase in VGTR would result in 700 new development jobs, £95m in new development expenditure and £86m in new tax receipts.
- Introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to enhance studios’ access to finance, promote the development of original IP and encourage studio growth. The VGIF could provide funding of between £75,000 and £500,000 to games developers nationwide. Research commissioned by TIGA shows that the VGIF would have a positive impact. At a cost of £26.5 million over 5 years (2019 to 2023), the VGIF would: create 1,500 jobs and 2,700 indirect jobs; encourage an additional £215 million in development expenditure; contribute an additional £197 million in tax revenues.
- Retain and enhance the UK Games Fund, which provides prototype funding worth up to £25,000.
- ensure that the UK’s future immigration system enables games businesses to effectively recruit highly skilled people from overseas. The Government should retain the existing roles on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) that are relevant to the video games industry. It should also add roles to the SOL where there is a specific skills shortage so that employers can recruit the employees they need without undue delay.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“The UK video games development sector is a success story. Employment and investment in the sector reached record levels in 2018 and our industry’s contribution to GDP reached an all-time high of £1.8 billion.
“Yet we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Governments in other jurisdictions will continue to seek to attract our successful studios and talented development staff. We now need to reinforce our success by retaining and enhancing Video Games Tax Relief, establishing a Video Games Investment Fund to improve studios’ access to finance, continuing to strengthen education and skills and enabling studios to access highly skilled people from overseas following Brexit.”