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ELSPA and TIGA partner for new tax relief assault

All publishers on ELSPA board endorse committee to boost UK games biz

Trade association TIGA and publisher association ELSPA have joined together for the first time, as part of a renewed effort to bring about tax breaks for the UK games industry.

The two bodies have formed a steering committee, to be lead by TIGA, consisting of key members of each, as well as a number of external legal and political advisors.

Following concern in recent weeks that an unnamed publisher or publishers had fought against tax breaks, ELSPA confirmed every publisher on its board (including Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA, Square and Disney) had on Friday agreed to assist TIGA's latest push.

This follows the recent announcement that Activision Blizzard had also pledged to support attempts to change the government's mind on the issue.

"The aim of the committee, led by TIGA, is not only to address the urgent issue of these tax breaks being withdrawn but to review the existing TIGA submission with a view to enhancing the arguments, evidence and justification for the government to provide a tax break for the sector for the production of qualifying videogames and interactive entertainment products," said ELSPA in an official statement.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA said: "The games industry and policymakers know that the UK does not operate on a level playing field and we are seeing jobs and investment move abroad to countries that offer specific games tax breaks. TIGA is committed to getting Games Tax Relief introduced in the UK."

A number of TIGA members have reiterated their support for the effort. Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion, said “It’s not just about keeping existing jobs, it’s about new jobs. The UK can only compete against our international competitors if we’ve got the Government on our side. This means that the Coalition Government must look again at the case for Games Tax Relief."

Added Gareth Edmonson, CEO of Ubisoft Relections: "This is a growing industry; it’s an industry for tomorrow as well as today. But it needs a favourable environment and full support to continue to be a viable player in the global market."

Karl Hilton, MD of Crytek UK reiterated that tax relief is "critical to the long-term success of the UK’s game industry as we face an increasingly competitive international marketplace both for skilled people and inward investment," while other developers pledging continued supported included Kuju, Blitz, Exient and DR Studios.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.