The Scottish Parliament heard from game developers yesterday as trade group Tiga lobbied for tax breaks.
As reported by the Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tiga head Richard Wilson complained that developers were working on an “uneven playing field” in comparison to their global competitors.
If we want the Scottish games industry in particular, and the UK games industry in general, to stay ahead of the pack, then we must introduce a tax break for games production similar to the EU-approved French tax credit.
Industry research indicates that if a 20% production tax credit was introduced, investment would increase by £220million over five years, generating a further 1,600 graduate jobs over the same period.
MSP Joe Fitzpatrick, who represents Dundee, where much of Scotland's game development community is based, backed Tiga's request:
Abolishing [Value-added Tax] for research and development would give Scottish [video game] firms the same benefits as those in France and keep us at the forefront of the industry.
I want to see Chancellor Alistair Darling take action in the upcoming budget.
Not everyone agreed, however. Some MSPs felt that sufficient incentives were already available to the video game industry.