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TIGA calls for new government investment

£1 billion fund should be used for gaming start-ups says trade association

The British government should use some of its GBP 1 billion Innovation Investment Fund to help early stage game businesses says UK trade association TIGA.

The fund was first outlined in 2008 and is designed to support start-up companies in life sciences, low-carbon technologies and digital and advanced manufacturing. TIGA has argued that this does and should include video game companies.

"UK games developers have traditionally faced difficulties in raising finance from funders outside of the sector. The City of London has been relatively uninterested in investing in games, partly because of the risks involved. As a result, it has been comparatively hard to raise new funds for the creation of original intellectual property", said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson.

"Separately, the Technology Strategy Board invested GBP 577,000 in projects involving games businesses in 2008-09. This is testament to the fact that there are worthwhile investment opportunities in games businesses," said Wilson.

“There remains a need to invest in start up and early stage games development studios. The government’s Innovation Investment Fund should back promising start up games businesses to encourage the development of original IP," he added.

TIGA has long campaigned for tax breaks and other forms of financial support from the UK government. The trade association recently pointed to comments from Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, who also suggested that governmental aid was a wise investment.