September 22, 2009
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that the Government should end the post code lottery in support for the video games sector and deliver more support to games businesses through the introduction of a national Games Tax Relief. TIGA made the comments after new information about the nine English Regional Development Agencies (RDA) funding for the video games industry was revealed by the Government in response to a parliamentary question tabled by the Conservative MP Philip Davies.
Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
Funding for the English video games industry is incredible, incoherent and insufficient. Incredible, because under the current arrangements important clusters of video games developers, for example, in Guildford and Brighton, receive virtually zero support. This is not the fault of SEEDA, which through the South East Media Network (SEMN) works effectively with TIGA. SEEDA and the SEMN are relatively underfunded.
Incoherent, because the current post code lottery for funding the video games sector in England fails to ensure that all regions with potential are adequately supported. For instance, while games businesses in Yorkshire are admirably supported by Yorkshire Forward through Game Republic and those in East Anglia by the EEDA through Games Eden, those in Oxfordshire receive no meaningful RDA support.
Insufficient, because while many other countries provide generous tax relief for games production there is no similar tax benefit for game developers in England.
Richard Wilson concluded:
We need a more rational system of support for the video games industry in England. In particular, all clusters should be able to access programmes that focus on business-to-business knowledge sharing and strengthening links with local universities.
More funding should be made accessible through national programmes that developers, irrespective of their geographical location, can benefit from. That is one of the reasons why TIGA is advancing the case for a Games Tax Relief. This tax measure which would benefit games developers throughout the UK could help 60-80 titles per year, trigger growth in employment, new game development, innovation and investment, and more sustainable business models for British studios by selling directly to consumers. The Games Tax Relief is expected over 5 years to create 1,400 new jobs in the studio sector, increasing investment by games studios by 146m, direct and indirect annual tax revenues by 133m and GDP contribution by 323m. By year 5, for every 100 of investment by government in the Games Tax Relief, the industry will invest 176.
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.
TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. www.tiga.org
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