Game Developers Lobby Scottish Parliament for Tax Breaks

The Scottish Parliament heard from game developers yesterday as trade group Tiga lobbied for tax breaks.

As reported by the Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tiga head Richard Wilson complained that developers were working on an “uneven playing field” in comparison to their global competitors.

If we want the Scottish games industry in particular, and the UK games industry in general, to stay ahead of the pack, then we must introduce a tax break for games production similar to the EU-approved French tax credit.

Industry research indicates that if a 20% production tax credit was introduced, investment would increase by £220million over five years, generating a further 1,600 graduate jobs over the same period.

MSP Joe Fitzpatrick, who represents Dundee, where much of Scotland’s game development community is based, backed Tiga’s request:

Abolishing [Value-added Tax] for research and development would give Scottish firms the same benefits as those in France and keep us at the forefront of the industry.


I want to see Chancellor Alistair Darling take action in the upcoming budget.

Not everyone agreed, however. Some MSPs felt that sufficient incentives were already available to the video game industry.

UPDATE: Edge Online has debate highlights, or, for true political junkies, the full text of yesterday’s debate.

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  1. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    Yeah im looking into canada atm tbh.

    SO cant be assed staying and dealing with all the crap here in the UK. no point.

    I hear a lot of ppl saying game develoment degrees are crap tbh,  but it really all depends. The one im doing is 100% programming related (focused on c++) so its really good. There are quite a few out there that try to train game designers more than programmers , or try to convince students that using an off the shelf ‘rpg-maker’ piece of software is how game develoment works. They are utter BS n not worth wiping your arse on.

    Got through 2 interviews and an exam for an internship at RARE last summer tho out of about 1000 ppl. final interview at the Headquarters was pretty cool i got to see all the coolness behind the scenes.  Although.. wouldnt apply there once im graduated. Theyre games havent been too.. i dunno.. good lately. Rumours about microsoft ‘restructuring’ doesnt sound too good.

  2. 0
    shady8x says:

    Wow so that entire huge post is SARCASM?

    I thought you were serious for a second there…

    Anyways, have fun making games in UK



    Seriously though, go to Canada, France or French Canada… eventually UK will wake up, but until then work at the best available position…

    Though I thought that UK game developer degrees were a joke…I hope you meant computer science or programmer degree, otherwise you might have a hard time finding a job anywhere…

  3. 0
    Drazgal says:

    Actually Scotland is more accepting when it comes to game developers than the rest of Britian so in some ways the MSPs might have a point, there are more than a few places that will give very nice (local) tax breaks to games companies in Scotland. That’s not to say we shouldn’t spread this attitude nation wide of course.

    The wage situation isn’t as bad as you think it is. I was also foolish enough to do a games development course but was lucky enough to get hired in the UK dispite this and currently earn more than the national average for someone who graduated from university three years ago.

    The governments attitude isn’t that it doesn’t have a clue, they know eactly how much money they are making but rather they know their voting demo graphic and helping developers will only alienate them. Blame younger people for not voting XD

  4. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    ”Not everyone agreed, however. Some MSPs felt that sufficient incentives were already available to the video game industry. ”


    pff… BS.

    as somebody living in the UK , graduating as a game developer in about 2 months time, i can tell you that factually, saying the games industry already has enough incentives, is utter BS.

    Its a FACT that all the best graduates are going abroad. The average wages for a developer in canada for instance are 30% better than inthe UK. For doing the SAME job. graduates wont, and ARE CURRENTY NOT staying in the UK, as prospects are better elsewhere (including france). The best talent is being haemorraged to competing countries and it is having a huge impact.

    Currently myself and around 50% of the students im graduating with, are looking for positions abroad.

    I know personally i would LOVE to work in the uk, but financially there is no WAY i can justify it.

    As for the game studios themselves, they are paying out massive amounts for reasearch and development compared to other studios abroad, so can pay fewer employees les money. Hence lower productivity.

    The UK games industry generates a huge amount of revenue for the UK , and now, more than ever, with the economic climate being as it is, the UK government in particular needs to step in and do something. Every year its becoming harder and harder for UK studios to keep heads above water.

    And WHY should the talent here stay?

    Why should the studios, managers, publishers, developers, artists etc stay?

    When you have the option (increasingly attractive option day by day) to make everyones lives easier by setting up abroad the UK government is utterly stupid.

    The problem is that the old fuddy duddies with the power dont have a clue. They see ‘gaming’ as immature, a bit of a joke, and dont take it seriously, despite the cold hard facts. So not only (as a uk developer) do we have to put up with crappyier wages, harder times making ends meed, we also have to put up with a shitty social stigma to go with it. A stigma that politicians do nothing but like to add to day by day, with remarks about ‘nerds’ ‘ geeks’ and the wierd notion that all gamers are 15 yr old males sat in a basement playing nothing more advanced than ‘pac-man’ all day. Either that or accuse gamers of being socially inept violence loving, depraved psychopaths. 

    Thanks. Wow.. i have so much reason to stay in the UK. your soooo right. The games industry already has enough incentives. Id be mad to go anywhere else. Thank you SOOOOO much. / SARCASM. 



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