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UK games industry

See? If we had tax relief like Canada, THQ would be opening new studios over here, says TIGA.

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that the global video game publisher THQ had confirmed that the absence of Games Tax Relief was harming investment and job creation in the UK. Danny Bilson, THQ executive Vice President for Core Game Brands, said in an interview with gamesindustry.biz that THQ was investing in Quebec because of the provision of 37.5 per cent tax breaks and that his company would be investing in the UK if the Government here also provided tax breaks.

Danny Bilson, THQ executive Vice President for Core Game Brands, said:

“I wish that Los Angeles or California would give us 37.5 per cent [tax break] on the labour; then we'd be building out here. If it was in Manchester we'd be building out there. If it was in Lyon, we'd be building out there.”

In response to a question about whether a global publisher would invest in the UK, Danny Bilson said:

“Well, it's all about money. The talent in the UK is extraordinary... I got to know a lot of teams in the UK - it's one of the greatest talent centres in the world... So there's no issue with talent; it's just economics - and if the government finds subsidies there, absolutely we would build out. We have a studio up in Warrington that's an excellent studio, working on our Xbox Live/PSN digital games, so we do have a studio in the UK... but I'm sorry, it's all about money at the end of the day.”

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:

“Global publisher THQ has confirmed that the UK is losing out on jobs and investment because of the absence of Games Tax Relief. High skilled jobs could be created in Manchester and Warrington. Instead they are being created in Montreal. The UK is not competing on a level playing field. Our key competitors, particularly Canada, have tax breaks for games production. The UK does not. We are losing in the global battle for job creation and investment.

“Crucially, as Danny Bilson said, the provision of a skilled workforce in the UK is not the issue. The UK’s development workforce is excellent. The key issue is money.

“Measures to enhance skills in the games industry and to improve the supply of suitably skilled workers are important, but they will be completely ineffective in attracting overseas publishers to invest in the UK. If the Coalition Government wants the UK to be open for business, to attract overseas investment, and to create highly skilled jobs then it must introduce Games Tax Relief.”

TIGA research shows that over a five year period Games Tax Relief could create or save 3,550 graduate levels jobs, secure £457 million in new and saved development expenditure and generate £415 million in new and saved tax receipts. Significantly, Games Tax Relief would more than pay for itself as the cost of introducing the Relief to the Treasury would amount to £192 million over five years.


Notes to editors:

About TIGA:

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 has also been named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of ‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’.

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 eva@tiga.org. 

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