TIGA CEO Calls on UK Government to Do More for Games Industry

October 6, 2011 -

In a guest editorial on the UK version of the Huffington Post, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson ask the British government to give the game industry a break ... a tax break.

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, published a report this week entitled "State of the UK Games Development Sector 2011," which highlights why the government should support the industry: it creates jobs and generates taxable revenue. Wilson highlights three challenges the industry faces in his editorial:

"Firstly, our competitors, including Canada, France, Singapore and the USA all provide national or regional tax relief for games production, which typically effectively reduce the cost of employment and games production. No tax relief for games development exists in the UK. Between 2008 and 2010 employment in the British games industry fell by 9 per cent and annual investment declined from £458 million to £417 million. Conversely, the Canadian games industry has grown by 33 per cent over the same period. The British video games industry is competing with a ball and chain tied to its ankles. A tax break would enable our industry to compete on a level playing field. Yet the Coalition Government dropped TIGA's tax break in the June 2010 Budget.

Secondly, two-fifths of our development studios are held back by a lack of finance. Access to debt, bond and equity finance is difficult because of uncertainty about consumer demand for video games and because of the intangible nature of IP. Bank finance is therefore very unlikely to become a principal source of finance for game developers. Treasury wheezes like Credit Easing may help larger businesses in the medium term but they provide no immediate assistance for creative industries such as games development.

Thirdly, our industry faces recruitment difficulties. Two-fifths of developers have suffered from skill shortages over the last 12 months. This is partly because the domestic supply of high quality graduates in disciplines such as computer science is limited. The proportion of computer science graduates has fallen by a quarter in recent years. These skill shortages are amplified by a brain drain of talented staff to overseas jurisdictions, particularly Canada."

So how can the government help to foster growth? Tax breaks, of course. Wilson is calling on the government to introduce tax relief for games production; the creation of a Creative Content Fund (CCF) that offers matched funding for approved game production projects. and a pilot program where tuition fees for students studying mathematics and computer science degrees are competitively priced in comparison to other degrees to incentivize the study of these subjects.

Wilson ends his editorial by saying that UK game developers are high technology, highly skilled, low carbon businesses that have the potential to succeed in global markets and to contribute to the necessary rebalancing of the UK economy.

"The Prime Minister, David Cameron, called for a spirit of "can-do optimism" in his speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. We have a can-do games industry. What we now need is a 'can-do' Government."

Source: Huffington Post UK

 


 
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Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
 

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