EU approves UK games tax relief, signalling 188m windfall

TIGA and UKIE both celebrate landmark decision

The European Union Commission has reached a decision to grant the UK's games industry cultural tax relief, a move which trade bodies estimate could result in an extra £188 million per year for the sector.

The decision is the culmination of many years of lobbying and campaigning and will help the UK to continue re-establishing itself as a market-leading force in the global games industry. Having initially been scheduled for inclusion in the budget by the outgoing Labour government in 2010, the case for tax relief has been through several setbacks and renegotiations, succeeding largely thanks to the efforts of the UK's trade bodies: TIGA and UKIE.

"This is a superb decision by the EU Commission and magnificent news for the UK video games industry," said TIGA's Richard Wilson, who has consistently championed the tax breaks. "It is also a striking success for TIGA, for its members, and for the wider video games industry that TIGA represents. GTR will create jobs, boost investment and enable the production of more British video games. "Our research has demonstrated tax relief for the UK video game sector will increase employment, drive innovation and secure additional investment in the industry. Specifically, TIGA's research has shown GTR should create and/or protect 4,661 direct and indirect jobs; encourage approximately £188 million additional investment expenditure by UK studios; generate £172 million in new and protected tax receipts to HM Treasury, and all at a cost of just £96 million over five years."

"This is a huge boost to the UK games and interactive entertainment sector and the start of a great new era of games production in the UK," commented UKIE CEO Jo Twist, who has also lobbied extensively to see the campaign succeed. "We are delighted the European Commission recognised the clear market failure for the production of games with a British and European flavour, using UK-based creative and highly skilled talent.

"We are extremely happy to have played a part, as a strong collective voice for the industry, to get the scheme over the finishing line. We have been in constant contact with government throughout the process and have applied pressure and evidence for the scheme to be introduced at every opportunity."

GamesIndustry International has editorial pieces from both Dr Wilson and Dr Twist giving deeper insight into the decision and it's connotations.

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Latest comments (11)

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital7 years ago
Meanwhile in the Czech Republic, the czech game developer association isn't even able to organize a Czech booth at the Gamescom this year.
You lucky Brits ;-)
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It didn't happen overnight
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Karl Jeffery Founder & CEO, Arooga7 years ago
Well done Richard, your dogged persistence and hard work has paid off!
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Show all comments (11)
Mark Ridgewell Rendering Engineer, EA DICE7 years ago
Finally! Maybe this will help to stem the tide of studios closing around the country. This is great news.
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Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Ubisoft Reflections7 years ago
Hmmm, what does this mean for us lowly devs? More job security? Or will we even notice the difference at our level?
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
Good job.
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Chris Hunter-Brown IT / Games specialist, BBFC7 years ago
Great news, I'm sure convincing the Commission wasn't easy at all.
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Well done TIGA and Richard Wilson
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Christian Slater DevilBliss Games Consultancy 7 years ago
There's quite an involved points system to qualify involved - 'Grand Theft Morris Dancing' beckons, I'm sure.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany7 years ago
Good news for a Friday morning. Maybe now we will stop loosing good people to Canada (my respect for that awesome country, of course, but I would like to remain in the Europe I love :) )
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We can all aspire to produce Flappy bulldogs in the Land of a Flooded Essex
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