UK video game industry trade group TIGA has re-released a revised 85-page document showing the positives of the government offering tax relief to the industry. The report, a revision of a document that was released to Labour Party government in 2008, was put together by TIGA, Osborne Clarke, games research firm Games Investor Consulting. The thrust of the report is that, if the government were to approve tax relief for the video game industry, it could create 3,366 industry jobs and create £431 million in investments.
TIGA says that this tax relief should be calculated in the same way that existing tax relief for British films is calculated.
"The UK videogames industry is an industry of the future – high tech, highly skilled and export oriented, said Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA. "If the Coalition government is serious about its intention of rebalancing the economy then it should invest in the UK videogames industry by introducing a tax break for games production. Games Tax Relief would create jobs, boost investment and generate much needed tax revenue for the government."
The report also pointed out that support for the videogame industry in other countries – countries like Canada where tax breaks are abundant – have helped to cause an exodus from the UK.
Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion, issued the following statement in support of TIGA and the UK video game industry:
"The global video games market is expected to grow from $52.5 billion in 2009 to $86.8 billion in 2014. . However, this growth will happen overseas if we do not invest today. The UK is exceptionally good at developing videogames but we are not competing on a level playing field. Other governments around the world are backing their video games industries. The UK Coalition Government is not. Of course, the Government must tackle the deficit, but it must also have a strategy for growth. TIGA’s Games Tax Relief will support economic growth and tax revenues. We urge the Government to review our evidence and reopen the discussions on Games Tax Relief."
"The Government should also improve the existing R&D tax credit scheme. TIGA recommends that the existing R&D tax credit for large firms should be retained. Regarding the R&D tax credit for small firms, the categories of qualifying expenditure should be widened, the level of relief raised, the value of the relief for loss making companies increased, and the claim process simplified."