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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Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
 

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