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BFI to administer cultural test for UK games tax breaks

Body hopes to use experience of film tests to streamline process

The British Film Institute has been named as the body which will administer the cultural tests to form part of the requirements for UK games tax relief.

The group has experience of offering a similar service for the UK film industry, a factor which no doubt influenced the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's decision to award it the contract today. However, realising that the two media offer different challenges and points of relevance, the BFI is also looking to recruit analysts to help guide studios through the process.

The appointment was welcomed by Jo Twist, CEO of UKIE.

"The BFI Cultural Test team have delivered a very effective service and expertise to the film industry so we welcome their experience to the games industry," said Twist. "The process of developing a game, and understanding their cultural nature is extremely different from films so we're happy too that BFI will be hiring recognised games industry experts with significant experience of the sector to administer cultural test applications from games businesses, as we recommended in our tax break response to government.

"We will be assisting BFI with the recruitment of these key roles and will also be in regular contact with them to make sure the guidelines for the test are fit for games businesses."

Tax breaks for British games companies were authorised last year, but have yet to be implemented.

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Dan Pearson