Ukie calls for cultural test that accurately reflects how games are made in the UK today

29 October 2012 - London, United Kingdom – Games and interactive entertainment trade body, Ukie, uses government response to outline how the tax relief ‘cultural test’ should recognise all parts of the games industry and should recognise the unique cultural nature of the games industry.

Ukie's response to DCMS consultation on the Cultural Test for British Video Games can be  found here.

Games businesses will have to pass a cultural test in order to qualify for the proposed video games tax relief, due to be introduced next year. Ukie has today used its response to the Government consultation, to outline how this cultural test will best be applied to the UK’s games businesses.

The main points made in Ukie’s response are:
  • The cultural test should reflect that tax breaks need to be of real benefit to all parts of the games industry, from small independent studios and existing bigger studios to attracting inward investment from multi-national companies
  • The games industry cultural test should be given an extra maximum point allocation (raising it from 30 points to 31 points), bringing it into line with the total number of points available in the UK film industry’s cultural test
  • The test itself should accurately reflect the process of how games are made today in the UK, including recognising coding as an essential part of the creative and artistic skillset involved in the crafting of interactive entertainment
  • Games will not always have a traditional narrative, describable setting, or characters of a recognisable species. Ukie therefore welcomes the government’s proposal to recognise fictional settings and species
  • Four points should be allocated to games made in the English language (up from two), again bringing this in line with the UK’s film industry cultural test
  • Ukie welcomes the emphasis and potential points being allocated for using UK service providers
  • The test must recognise that, in smaller businesses, for example micro studios, one person will often do several key jobs and points should still be given for each of these roles 
  • Ukie calls for the team administrating the cultural test for video games to be recognised experts with significant experience and understanding of the games industry. If this resource sits under the BFI then it must be sufficiently resourced and the name of this cultural test body should reflect its wider remit
In preparing its response, Ukie has met individually and held roundtables with games businesses of all sizes – from multinational publisher-owned developers to one-person indie studios and everything in between – and issued an online survey. As with the previous tax breaks consultation, Ukie also shared its response with TIGA to make sure that a consistent voice is presented to government on this crucial issue. Ukie also submitted a joint proposal on behalf of Tiga and Ukie on the definition of “games”.

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said. “The cultural test is an important part of the system allowing tax credits to be put in place. Ukie’s response outlines how we can have a rigorous test, meeting the needs of the EU state aid process, but a fair one that accurately reflects how games are made in the UK today and who makes them. We have also made recommendations that will help make sure that the test recognises all parts of the games industry, from the traditional console and PC markets to the mobile and social games that have emerged in recent years.”  

 

 

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Contacts:

For all press enquiries, please contact the UKIE press office on T: +44 (0)20 7534 0580 or E: press@ukie.org.uk

About Ukie

The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or UKIE (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that aims to support, grow and promote the whole of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 2010 (although formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE’s membership includes all the major UK and global games publishers and the best of UK development talent - from promising start-ups to some of the biggest, most successful studios operating in the UK today.

We also have distributors, academic institutions, new publishers, and media outlets that are integral to the lifeblood of the industry as part of the family.

UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, access to finance and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.

One of UKIE’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.

We also offer a comprehensive events programme to give the games industry access to key information, leading industry figures and give everyone the chance to network. You can see our events programme here http://ukie.org.uk/events

In addition, UKIE compiles weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.

Twitter: @uk_ie

Facebook: Ukie

 


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