TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, today joined with other members of the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF), to express concern that the new EU funding programmes planned for media and culture and for research and innovation for 2013 - 2020 do not place sufficient emphasis on the video game development sector.
Canada and numerous states within the USA are already actively supporting their video game industry through tax credits and other financial measures. In contrast, the EU generally has failed to give the same level of support to the video game sector.
Video game development can engender new business models, create innovative content and drive groundbreaking technological discoveries with positive spillover effects for other sectors. Game development also provides high skilled employment in an export oriented industry. However, Horizon 2020, the new EU programme for research and innovation, is making only minor changes in order to make the programme more accessible for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the digital market.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
“Game developers are typically high-tech SMEs, yet very few of them qualify for EU support. European game developers compete globally against highly subsidised competitors. It is time for EU policy makers to power our high technology, highly skilled, export focused industry forward and embrace the digital era.”
TIGA and the EGDF recommend that the European Commission should introduce a range of measures to support the video game development sector, including:
- a new definition of innovation including innovations related to content, services, and business models;
- an SME-quota for EU RTD projects so that at least 50% of the funding goes to SMEs;
- balanced EU funding schemes for SMEs between loan guarantees and prototype development / IP creation funding;
- a threshold, for example, by placing the maximum EU contribution per project to about five million euros; and
- direct and concrete support and consultation for SMEs, for example by using a network of Media Desks throughout Europe.
TIGA and the EGDF also call for reforms to the new Creative Europe programme, combining European support for interactive, audiovisual and textual art, and advocate:
- measures to secure a strong variety of content that reflects the cultural values and traditions of member states;
- an independent pillar for video games in the programme; and
- a substantial game prototype development / IP creation support scheme in the programme.
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. In 2011, TIGA won a further four awards at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards, including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ for the second consecutive year. TIGA has been voted a finalist in the CMI Management and Leadership Awards 2011 in the ‘Outstanding Organisation (SME)’ category. Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, has been voted a finalist in the ‘Outstanding Leader’ category. TIGA was also 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 is an ‘Investors in People’ accredited organisation.
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. Our mission is to fight for the interests of game developers. To achieve our vision and mission we focus on the delivery of three strategic objectives: effective political representation, profile raising and helping our members commercially. 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 Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email email@example.com .
About the European Games Developer Federation (EDGF)
The EDGF is committed to the stimulation and development of a stable, vibrant and creative European games development sector that is competitive globally and recognized culturally.
The EGDF will act to advance the political and economic interests of the European computer and video games industry by providing a platform for collaboration and discussion between European institutions and game developers.
The federation represents some 600 studios based in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom, which together employ about 17,000 people. The European computer and video games industry, including distributors and students in game educations, encompasses almost 100,000 individuals.
For further information please visit: www.egdf.eu
Or contact to Dr. Malte Behrmann ( firstname.lastname@example.org)