Game Developers Lament Lack of Support in U.K. Budget Plan

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling (left) has put forth a budget for the U.K. but game developers are not happy about his plans.

Edge Online reports that Richard Wilson, head of developers’ group Tiga, blasted Darling’s proposal for failing to provide what Wilson views as adequate financial incentives for U.K. game creators:

This Budget conspicuously fails to back one of the principal creative industries of the future – games development. It is disappointing that while [Darling] plans to spend £671 billion over the coming financial year… he could not find the £150 million over five years to invest in the tax break for games production.

The Government has missed a trick. Video games are a growing sector and the UK games development sector is still world beating. The Government should have used today’s Budget to reinforce success and introduced a tax break for games production…

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  1. 0
    neller says:

    I am most unimpressed, I have been looking at training and studying to get into the industry. Doesn’t seem plausable to spend money on materials and qualifications if there might not be any prospect at the end of it. Companies like who provide games courses must rue at this budget as it has put doubts in my mind.

  2. 0
    Nocturne says:

    Your missing my point (I’m from England so well aware of what constitues the UK thanks)

    Had this budget catered for tax breaks to UK developers, all UK developers would have benefitted (obviously), if Scotland alone introduces tax breaks it will likely cause a shift of UK developers to be based in Scotland instead, afterall it’s a hell of a lot easier to move headquarters North a few miles than shift the lot of to Canada.

    Either Scotland or the UK as a whole introducing tax breaks is clearly a better option than none but it would be better for the UK economical markets if it wasn’t centred on a single region.

  3. 0
    clonebassist says:

    Who wants to wager a bet that Rockstar North along with alot of other game devs will move to another country?

    Amazing, the budget for the London olympics has gone up from initially being £2.3 billion to almost £10 billion, and people still wonder why companies are leaving the UK because of lack of Government support.

  4. 0
    Nocturne says:

    Yes but… Scotland has a seperate parliament and are looking at introducing tax breaks for games developers, that can still happen independantly of this budget. What it does mean though is that it would be more difficult for Scottish tax breaks to be introduced as they are affected by the spending cuts that have/will come in.

  5. 0
    State says:

    And watch as Canada and Scots steal their talent, other wise known as the PC term "brain drain".

    Scotland is part of the UK. Looks like someone has some real brain drain going on there.

  6. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "Any idea where in Canada you want to go?"

    Yeah. Can you direct me to the house of one "Derovius" by any chance?


    Seriously, I’d love to see how he took the BanHammer.


    "The sun ever rises on the morrow. We can only live for today, and trust that other days will follow." -Unknown

  7. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    yeah i LOVE canada.

    I have friends who live like an hour in between edmonton and calgary. And in edmonton there is….




    god i would eat my own head to work for them.

  8. 0
    NovaBlack says:

    Thing is, if they dont offer tax breaks to the uk games industry… then how can they compete with other countries (e.g. canada?).

    As a U.K. game developer myself graduating literally in the next 4 weeks, i can honestly say that i see no real reason to stay in the UK. as soon as i get some basic experience, im off to canada.

    The wages for devs there are roughly 30% better. I cant justify staying here. The UK is haemorraghing talent, im top of my class, and have got 4 interviews lined up already. So i must be doing something right as a game programmer. But i have no plans to stay here. The opinion i have is not  isolated. Believe me.

    And whether people accept it or not, you CANNOT make good games without good programmers, no matter how hard you try. You need the workers to be able to make the stuff. Its that simple. If your losing the best devs to other countries, then that other company has better developers than you. Meaning its harder and harder to compete.

  9. 0
    Kojiro says:

    I understand that.  And everything you just said applies to every industry, except fixed location businesses like food services.  My point is why fuck around with tax breaks, just lower taxes and be done with it.

  10. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Um… The games industry will still be paying taxes. They will just qualify for more rebates if they were offered. Their employees will still be paying income taxes and other imcome related taxes. That is where the benifit is really at.

    By offering cheaper development costs in the form of tax breaks for the company, they will be less likely to move out of the country. By staying in the country, people will not have to leave the country to work. By staying in the country to work, they will be paying that country’s taxes and thus bring in income to the country.

    What the games industry is saying is that their costs are rising while other developers in nations with tax breaks have costs that are dropping due to those tax breaks. It gets very tempting for industries to move to areas that offer cheaper costs.

    So why not compete with those nations and work to keep industry in your own country? But I forget this is the UK. The country that would rather complain that other nations offer better incentives to industries rather than offer those incentives themselves.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  11. 0
    Kojiro says:

    Every industry = jobs.  Does that mean nobody should pay taxes?

    I’m tired of the tax break game.  Why does one industry deserve a tax break but not another?  Why not just lower business taxes across the board and put an end to these political tax games?  This system just punishes businesses that don’t have the option of moving to another location by making them the only ones who actually pay their full taxes.

  12. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:


    I’m about to finish my BSc in Computer Science, and I do tend to find the lack of support for the IT Sector, particuarly Entertainment, to be quite frustrating, but then, in general, the entire Budget was pretty much as depressing as I thought it would be.

    As for the recession, according to the Chancellor, it’ll be finished by Christmas. Sound familiar?

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