UK game industry trade group TIGA is urging the government to introduce a package of measures including "Games Tax Relief," enhanced research and development tax credits, a lottery-financed prototype fund for the game development industry, more investment in higher education, incentives to study STEM subjects at the college level, tax relief on training related to the industry, a more flexible migration policy, an expansion of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and high speed broadband comparable in speeds to our main competitors.
"For too long the Coalition Government has acted like a one club golfer: it has had a strategy for reducing the deficit but little to say about growth," said Dr. Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO in a lengthy statement issued this morning. "The Government’s Growth Review is long overdue – not least because strong economic growth is crucial to reducing the deficit."
The video game sector offers opportunities for growth and high value, high technology job creation for the UK. Estimates from PWC suggest that the global market for video games will grow from $52.5 billion in 2009 to $86.8 billion in 2014.However, our video games industry will not fulfill its potential and the UK economy will not fully benefit from this growing market if the Government neglects the sector.
If the Government is serious about enabling the UK video games sector to play a part in driving economic growth, then it should introduce TIGA’s Games Tax Relief. This is the most effective way to power growth in the sector. 76 per cent of investment in UK games development is derived from global companies. At present, video game developers in the UK are at a competitive disadvantage in the struggle to secure finance from overseas publishers. Our key competitors provide tax breaks for games production or other significant financial incentives. The UK does not. Investment and jobs are drifting away to other countries that offer tax breaks for games production. Over the last two years there has been a 9 per cent fall in employment and annual investment has fallen from £458 million to £417 million.
The UK Coalition Government should look again at the case for TIGA’s Games Tax Relief. TIGA’s research shows that over a five-year period Games Tax Relief would protect or create 3,550 graduate level jobs, secure £457 million in investment and enhance innovation in the sector. Games Tax Relief would more than pay for itself, generating £415 million in tax receipts for HM Treasury. If Games Tax Relief is not introduced, the economic prize of increased investment and new jobs in the games sector will be jeopardised.</i>"