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UKIE outlines how government can help games industry to access finance

27  February 2012 - London, United Kingdom – Games and interactive entertainment trade body, UKIE, has today published its Access to Finance paper as part of its pre-budget submission to government.

Many interactive entertainment businesses in the UK are struggling to develop and grow through not being able access sources of finance. UKIE’s Access to Finance Paper outlines how the government can help support the games industry financially and therefore help to give it the level playing field that it needs to grow in the UK.

UKIE’s Access to Finance paper calls on government to explore new ways of making finance available for the games and interactive entertainment industry, such as: making crowd funding operate efficiently in the UK; extending the public service remit to include video games; and offering tax benefits linked to skills. The paper also calls on government to review existing sources of finance to make them better suited to the needs of the games industry, as well as fully supporting the call for the introduction of a tax break for video games development.

UKIE is also using its Access to Finance paper to call on government to support the development of a new Computer Science and Information and Communications Technology teaching infrastructure through the funding of Initial Teacher Training and Continuing Professional Development for teachers.

The full recommendations made in UKIE’s Access to Finance Paper are:

  1. Improve the UK’s current regulatory environment to allow investors, content producers and crowd funding platforms to take maximum advantage of crowd funding. (More detail on this proposal can be found in UKIE’s separate Crowd Funding Report – published last week and available here).
  2. UKIE continues to call on the government to introduce a tax break for video games development, along similar lines to the film tax relief, and fully supports fellow industry body, TIGA’s, Tax Breaks proposal.
  3. Change the rules governing the use of Venture Capital Trusts and Enterprise Investment Schemes to make them better suited for use in connection with the games and interactive entertainment industry.
  4. Change the rules regarding Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes to make it truly effective.
  5. Introduce a copyright box to incentivise IP creation and exploitation.
  6. Further clarify and reform the R&D tax credit system to make it easier for companies in the games and interactive entertainment industries to benefit.
  7. Link tax benefits to skills, possibly by linking to apprenticeships.
  8. Support the development of a new Computer Science and Information and Communications Technology teaching infrastructure through the funding of Initial Teacher Training and Continuing Professional Development for teachers Consider a further extension to the public-service remit so that it includes support for relevant games and interactive entertainment products and services.
  9. Extend the public-service remit to include interactive entertainment products and services.
  10. Continue to help provide access to finance through channels such as prototype funds.

UKIE’s Access to Finance paper for the UK’s Games and Interactive Entertainment industry is available here: http://ukie.org.uk/content/ukie-policy-paper-access-finance.

UKIE’s Access to Finance Paper follows the publication last week of UKIE’s Crowd Funding Report, which outlined how the UK’s current regulatory environment can be improved to allow investors, content producers and crowd funding platforms to take maximum advantage of crowd funding investment models. UKIE’s Crowd Funding report is available here http://www.ukie.info/content/ukie-crowd-funding-report-proposal-facilitate-crowd-funding-uk-february-2012.

UKIE Chief Executive, Dr Jo Twist said: “The games industry is solution-led and highly innovative. UKIE’s Access to Finance paper and our Crowd Funding report, published last week, seek to match this approach by looking at innovative new solutions that government can apply, to help the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry get much needed access to finance.”

UKIE Deputy Chair and Chair of the Government’s Creative Industries Council Access to Finance Group, Ian Livingstone said: “The global games industry continues to grow and yet the UK has lost ground in recent years to countries where governments actively support their games development companies via tax incentives, access to finance and providing a skilled workforce. UKIE will continue to present new solutions to improve the business environment for the games industry and we look forward to working further with Government to move from recommendation to implementation.” 

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Contacts:

For all press enquiries, please contact the UKIE press office on T: +44 (0)20 7534 0582 or E: press@ukie.org.uk.

About UKIE

The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or UKIE is a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry.

UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives 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.

In addition, UKIE works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.  


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