TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) should have an explicit strategy to promote the creative industries. As part of this strategy, the Department should argue for Games Tax Relief, enhanced R&D tax credits and measures to increase the supply of skilled graduates to enable the video games sector to fulfil its potential. The Department could also review the deployment of lottery funding with a view to using some of this money to support the video game development sector and UK outsourcing businesses. TIGA made the comments in response to the Department’s Structural Reform Plan, and in advance of the formulation of the Department’s strategy, which will be set out after the Autumn Spending Review.
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
“The Department for Culture, Media and Sport should have a clear strategy to promote the creative industries. The UK economy needs to be rebalanced away from an excessive dependency upon public sector employment and financial services towards sectors that are export oriented and which provide high skilled employment.
“The DCMS should lobby for Games Tax Relief and enhanced R&D tax credits in discussions with HM Treasury to create a fiscal environment that is favourable towards the video games sector. Games Tax Relief in particular would give a powerful stimulus to the UK video games sector.
“To address the skills issues facing the sector, the Department should argue for the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and art and animation courses in schools; more investment in higher education; and incentives to encourage the study of computer science and mathematics at university level.
“The DCMS could also review its current deployment of lottery funding as part of a strategy to promote the creative industries. The Department could consider using some of this money to back a number of creative industries, including the video games sector. Game development can involve high technological, artistic and business risks and so it can be relatively difficult to raise finance. Funding could be allocated to fund activities such as the creation of playable prototypes and for training. UK game developers and UK outsourcing firms should be eligible to benefit from lottery funding as part of a programme to stimulate and support small high technology businesses.”
TIGA also encouraged the DCMS to be ambitious in its aims for the provision of superfast broadband in the UK. Akamai’s State of the Internet report notes that: the average South Korean speed is 12 mbps and the average maximum is 33 mpbs, yet it is possible to buy an up to 100 mpbs package; the average speed in Japan is 7.8mbps; and the UK average was 3.8 mbps and we were ranked 27th in the world. The provision of superfast broadband should make possible the provision of more services over the internet.
Jason Kingsely, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion, said:
“The DCMS is the lead Department for the creative industries including animation, video games,fashion, film, music and television. With leadership comes responsibility. The Department should develop – as one of its top priorities – a strategy for promoting the creative industries. TIGA’s proposals for the video games sector would create a financial environment conducive to business growth, provide the sector with a highly skilled workforce and stimulate the growth of small and start-up studios. We look forward to discussing these proposals further with DCMS Ministers.”
Notes to editors:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded ‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the ‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010. 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.
For further information, please contact Eva Field, TIGA PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, or email email@example.com.