TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, urged the Coalition Government to support the video games development sector as part of a policy to back an export led recovery. TIGA made the comments following the latest Office of National Statistics figures on trade, showing that the UK’s trade deficit in goods and services with the rest of the world remained at £4.5 billion in July, the same figure as June.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
“The latest ONS figures show that rebalancing the UK economy towards private sector export led growth is proving to be a real challenge. The UK video game development sector is a sector with a pronounced tendency to export. A typical developer creates 45 per cent of their turnover through the export of games.
“The Government should look again at tax measures which will enable the UK video games sector to grow, such as Games Tax Relief, enhanced R&D tax credits, and measures to improve access to finance for early stage games development studios, including a Creative Content Fund. With the right Government support, the UK games development sector can contribute towards an export led recovery.”
Governments around the world are investing in the video game development sector. For example, according to Develop (http://www.develop-online.net/news/38600/Tax-breaks-to-cost-Quebec-118m-in-2011) Quebec’s substantial tax break which reimburses 37.5 per cent on production costs has helped to grow the province’s game development sector by approximately 700 per cent since 2003. In 2011, Quebec is expected to spend CA$117 million on the tax break.
Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
“The Coalition Government is right to want an export led recovery. The UK game development sector can help to play a part in achieving this goal, provided that we have the right fiscal policies in place. A correctly targeted tax break for games production, improved R&D tax credits and a Creative Content Fund would help more games developers to access finance, grow their businesses and export.”