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UK games industry still waiting on promised tax breaks


UK games industry trade association TIGA has urged the European Commission to deliver promised tax relief for local game developers after failing to meet a proposed implementation date.

The UK government planned to issue a total of £50 million in tax breaks for UK developers, starting in April of this year and extending through 2015. The proposed Games Tax Relief (GTR) plan offered 25 percent tax relief on 80 percent of a qualifying game's budget, and required passing a "cultural test" for consideration.

In April, the European Commission launched an investigation regarding the plan's necessity, delaying its implementation.

"The UK's Games Tax Relief supports cultural products, is necessary and proportionate in design, and it achieves these results without distorting trade and competition within the EU," TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson said. "The EU Commission should now seize the day and approve the introduction of the UK's Games Tax Relief."

"The culturally British elements of video games are often eliminated from games that are developed in the UK in favour of international or Americanised themes," TIGA chairman Jason Kingsley added. "GTR can reduce this tendency by promoting culturally British video games."

"Firstly, GTR will enable more studios to self-publish and develop British themes in their games," Kingsley continued. "Secondly, GTR will reduce the cost of games development in the UK and so could encourage global publishers to take more of a risk on developing games with a British personality. TIGA strongly recommends that the EU Commission approves the introduction of GTR in the UK as soon as possible."

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