In the wake of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown receiving the go-ahead from the Queen to dissolve Parliament and hold general elections on May 6, game industry group TIGA has issued its own agenda for the next Parliament.
The “Election Manifesto” (PDF) promotes three “pressing” issues to deal with: the introduction of Games Tax Relief as soon as possible, retention and expansion of the SME R&D tax credit scheme (from 175.0 percent of qualifying expenditures to 200.0 percent) and a decrease in tuition fees for students studying subjects that correlate those needed by game developers.
TIGA CEO Richard Wilson stated, “TIGA’s proposals address the key challenges our industry faces – from skill shortages and the lack of appropriately qualified graduates, through to specific tax, fiscal and monetary policies, encouraging investment in new IP, research and development, workforce development, education, business support, combating piracy and the UK classification system."
All told, TIGA offers 30 policy areas that the next government should focus on, including:
The video games industry should be promoted as a career option at school to encourage the study of science and mathematics subjects.
To tackle piracy, IP owners should be encouraged to adopt new technological solutions and business models. The most egregious serial pirates should be prosecuted.
The Pan-European Games Information (PEGI) age ratings system should be made compulsory for all boxed games designed for those aged 12 or above.
There is no case for creating either a new UK Video Games Council or for extending the remit of the existing Film Council to embrace the video games sector. Government departments in Whitehall should continue the existing process of holding regular meetings with industry trade associations.
Accredited trade organisations like TIGA should be able to use UK Trade & Investment (UKT&I) grants to cover travel and accommodation costs as well exhibition expenses.