Developer association TIGA has condemned the UK government for cancelling promised tax breaks for the videogames sector.
The group had been instrumental in campaigning for tax relief, praising the decision to help the UK when Labour's Alastair Darling initially confirmed support. It now says it "will not give up" and is seeking to refine the case for relief in the UK.
"The Coalition Government has broken pre-election pledges made by the Conservative Party and by the Liberal Democrats to support and introduce Games Tax Relief," said Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA.
"Unless the Coalition Government introduces Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure then the UK will forfeit millions of pounds in inward investment, jobs will be lost and we will cease to be a leading developer of video games. The UK video games industry is export oriented, high tech, highly skilled and low carbon in output. This is an industry of the future which the Government should be supporting with action, not words."
CEO of Rebellion and TIGA chairman Jason Kingsley said today's blow was "hugely disappointing" and that tax breaks remain the number one priority for the UK games business.
"TIGA has made a real impact in getting Games Tax Relief considered at the highest political level. It is hugely disappointing that the Coalition Government has decided not to introduce this tax measure, especially given the existence of tax relief for other sectors of the economy," he said.
"However, TIGA will continue to lead the campaign for Games Tax Relief in the months ahead. Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure is the industry’s top priority. Other policy issues are entirely secondary. We need a tax environment which allows UK games businesses to compete on a level footing with our overseas competitors.
Gareth Edmonson, Reflections boss and vice chairman of TIGA added: "The Government has missed an opportunity by not providing for Games Tax Relief in the Budget.
"However, TIGA’s campaign for Games Tax Relief has raised awareness about the video games industry in Government and in Parliament. The medium-term prospects for Games Tax Relief are positive. TIGA will continue to strive to make the UK the best place to do games business."