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Doak cautious of proposed UK tax credits

Free Radical Design boss Dave Doak has told <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> that he's dubious of any benefits that tax credit schemes would have for UK development, following the decision by the EU to give 20 per cent of development costs back to French studios.

Free Radical Design boss Dave Doak has told GamesIndustry.biz that he's dubious of any benefits that proposed tax credit schemes would have for UK development.

While admitting the European Commission's decision to give 20 per cent of development costs back to French studios is "clearly a good thing," he also echoed Guillaume de Fondaumière's disappointment that "it's less than the Canadian tax break".

But the bigger problem for Doak is that the majority of UK government is ignorant to the content of videogames and their cultural worth, making it difficult to convince politicians to help implement any such scheme.

"Convincing the UK government that a videogame has genuine cultural worth sounds like a tricky proposition given that their default position is that videogames as an artistic medium lie somewhere between child pornography and snuff movies," commented Doak.

TIGA's Fred Hasson today told GamesIndustry.biz that the developer association intends to begin lobbying the UK government this week to see if it will consider applying the same tax breaks that apply to film to the videogame industry.

But Doak was also sceptical of the effect such a move would have in the UK, suggesting that if development costs less, publishers will expect to pay less for the product.

"Here's a rosy prediction, if it happens in the UK, publishers will expect to pay 20 per cent less and employees will expect to be paid 25 per cent more," he said.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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