17 March 2009 Blitz Games Studios, one the world’s most successful independent games developers, is backing calls for tax breaks to enable UK companies to compete on a level playing field with subsidised businesses in countries such as Australia, Canada and South Korea.
The developers' trade body TIGA and game industry lawyers Sheridans have both written to Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson and Culture Secretary Andy Burnham highlighting the impact that overseas tax breaks are having on British games businesses. They point out that while global game sales grew 11% in 2008, the UK’s development workforce shrunk by 2.5% and warn that the UK is likely to fall from third to fifth in the world league table of earnings from games.
Blitz CEO Philip Oliver has sent a supporting letter and says:“This is a global industry and these overseas subsidies are skewing the marketplace, making it harder to grow our business and develop our own IP. What we need is a level playing field and if tax breaks are needed to get that, then I’m in favour. One area where we invest a huge amount, without any support, is in education outreach. We’re currently running our hugely popular student and lecturer Open Days and we regularly work with universities to ensure they are well informed about current industry practice. Tax breaks for this investment would enable us to cement the industry-education partnerships that are essential for the digital industries of tomorrow.”
Blitz Games Studios employs more than 200 people in Leamington Spa and also outsources work to other development teams in the UK.
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About Blitz Games Studios:
Blitz Games Studios is based in Leamington Spa and was founded in 1990 by industry veterans Andrew and Philip Oliver and now has more than 200 staff. Its six divisions encompass mature titles (Volatile Games), Serious Games (TruSim), family titles (Blitz Games), in-house technology (BlitzTech) and downloadable games (Blitz Arcade) and its training division (Blitz Academy).