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 EisenSarkeesian and Quinn continue to get harassed and attacked and so, the story stays in the headlines. If Wolfe gets swatted again, it will be in the news again.09/19/2014 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenYou mean Wesley Wolfe? The swatting appeared to be over his DMCA takedown, not due to his color or gender.09/19/2014 - 6:53pm
ConsterSo Sleaker, what's the sand like?09/19/2014 - 6:53pm
quiknkold@CraigR. Spreading Misandry is not going to kill Misogyny. Its just going to fuel it. half the people supporting that arguement are mysoginists themselves. They just dont know it.09/19/2014 - 6:51pm
Sleaker@CraigR - there's nothing to get over. There's no issue here until someone does an actual study on harassment rates.09/19/2014 - 6:48pm
quiknkoldWe never said Gamers were the only victims. Yes, Anita and Zoe got a bad rap. Yes, Zoe's ex was way out of line. Do I disagree with them? Depends on the arguement. Did they deserve what happened to them? Hell Effing No.09/19/2014 - 6:48pm
Sleakerbut news outlets have a tendency to blow up and sensationalize it if the person can be desrcibed as a minority, maybe because it gets the hits. How long were the 2 recent swattings in the news for? 1 was a white male developer....09/19/2014 - 6:47pm
Craig R.Get over it.09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
Craig R.Gamers are just lucky that their behavior wasn't brought to attention of everybody else sooner, and gamers are pissy about that09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
SleakerIn fact, just because a few female developers every year get harassed doesn't make it systematic. As a whole developers are harassed by people.. Swatted, etc.09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
Craig R.And if you don't think misogyny and sexism is widespread, then you're living with your head buried in the sand09/19/2014 - 6:45pm
Craig R.Apparently it's the gamers who are the only victims from GamerGate09/19/2014 - 6:44pm
Sleaker@AE - 1 person getting harassed is a problem. But just because 1 person gets harassed for being a female developer doesn't mean it's a systematic problem or indicative of a whole demographic.09/19/2014 - 6:44pm
Andrew EisenI don't believe anyone said or even remotely implied that harassing anyone was okay.09/19/2014 - 6:41pm
quiknkoldGeneral are being harassed, doxxed, hacked, just because they are being perceived as white males. And what about the White Males who are victims. Its ok to harass them? Anita Sarkeesian gets a bomb threat yeah, but what about the others.09/19/2014 - 6:36pm
quiknkoldwhat about all the gamers who are being harrassed, Andrew. Why does it have to be just about the women in the industry. We have 2 women, and only a handful of accounts recorded. While you could throw a dart at the internet and find a site where Gamers in09/19/2014 - 6:35pm
Andrew EisenOkay, you're talking specifically about harassment of women in the industry. So... how many (or what percentage of) women have to be harassed before you'd consider it a problem?09/19/2014 - 6:27pm
SleakerSo I think at best, we can just say something akin to 'there might be a problem, but we need more reliable information'09/19/2014 - 6:11pm
SleakerBut that takes someone actually doing a legitimate study on females in game development workplaces etc. And so far a good number of studies that get shoved into the center of attention are sensationalized through shoddy metrics and practices.09/19/2014 - 6:10pm
Sleaker@AE - I think there are select instances of gender problems that are highlighted, but I don't believe they are the norm, or 'widespread.' What would be more helpful is to show hard statistics. 1 in 100 female developers is harassed or somthing like this.09/19/2014 - 6:10pm
 

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