With tax breaks for UK game developers going on the backburner as the Tories and Liberal Democrats try to figure how their coalition is going to run, UK industry group TIGA has decided to collect more ammunition for its case with the release of a research report yesterday.
The report, entitled “The UK Video Games Industry: An Export Success Story,” takes an in-depth look at UK video game exports and emerging markets for video games produced in the UK.
In a statement released alongside the report, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson said
“The UK economic recovery needs to be export led and investment driven. The video game development sector can play a valuable role in achieving this objective. TIGA’s research shows that 91 per cent of UK games developers export their products (games), compared to just one third of small and medium-sized enterprises generally. Additionally, on average, 62 per cent of a developers’ turnover is generated from the export of games.
If the Government is serious about reorienting the UK economy towards high technology, low carbon, highly skilled, export focused industries, then it should introduce Games Tax Relief in the Budget on June 22nd. Games Tax Relief will increase investment, expand employment and enhance the sector’s capacity to export. Games Tax Relief will more than pay for itself. TIGA’s research shows that over a five year period it will generate £415 million in tax receipts for HM Treasury”
The UK was once a hotbed of game development, particularly on home computers such as the Amiga, and a leader in producing video game technology like the Super FX Chip, but the last ten years have been unkind. Though the region is responsible for one of the most successful video game IPs in Grand Theft Auto, publisher collapses, out-of-control budgets, and international competition for work-for-hire projects have led to the collapse of several high profile development studios like Argonaut PLC, Rage Software, Midway Newcastle, Acclaim Studios (Cheltenham, London, Teesside, Manchester), Ocean Software, Core Design and many more.
The tax breaks the industry seeks would likely help it compete for projects on the international stage, foster greater investment in local video game development, and if the report’s claims are to be believed, help the UK recover from recession.