212 video games have received final certification for UK tax relief between April 2016 and March 2017, the BFI has revealed.
That's a 59.4% rise over the 133 games that were approved in the previous 12 months. The amount of money being spent on these games within the UK and European Economic Area grew to £220m (from £189m), but interestingly the total budget decreased from £275m to £258m.
The trajectory of Video Games Tax Relief uptake in the UK is accelerating, too. 58 games received final certification during Q1, up from 35 the year before.
In terms of Interim Certificate (which is the process developers go through to ensure their games meet the criteria before it is finished), 187 games were approved between April 2016 to March 2017, with a total expected budget of £482m. This is a big increase in the number of games being approved (135 the year before), but a decrease in the overall budgets (£631m) - which suggests that smaller titles and studios benefited more significantly from the tax relief over the past 12 months. For Q1 2017, 51 games received interim certificates.
"The continued year-on-year rise of games businesses applying for Video Games Tax Relief is a clear message to government that it is critical that the†funding is†protected and improved over the important political period we are entering into," said UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist.
"As we leave the EU, UKIE calls on the†next government to continue to recognise the value of the games sector in driving cultural and technological innovation and growth; continue to support this much valued scheme, and to consider other opportunities to improve access to finance in order to continue to take risks with innovative, cultural content."