TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, has opened up a new front in its campaign to support the video games industry by working with the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) to lobby Brussels to improve access to finance for the video games industry.
The EGDF, of which TIGA is a key member, has published a Report ( Game Development and Digital Growth) which makes a series of recommendations for the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament to consider. TIGA, with other EDGF members, will be making the following proposals to European policy makers in Brussels today:
· Recognise video games as a form of cultural expression and make them eligible in all member states for public funding, as is the case with a growing number of non-European countries.
· Recognise that sector specific tax breaks for games production are vital for enabling the European games development sector to achieve its potential.
· Make video games a pillar of the upcoming MEDIA programme or create an EU video game specific programme.
· Balance EU funding schemes for SMEs between loan guarantees and prototype funding.
· Introduce a 50 per cent SME quota for EU RTD projects because SMEs are the driving force in innovation.
· Simplify the paper work associated with funding programmes for SMEs and promote EU funding programmes more effectively. The network of Media Desks throughout Europe could be used as contact points for information about EU support programs. Additionally, EU innovation programmes should be marketed at major games industry events.
Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, commented:
“TIGA is focussed on fighting for the interests of the games industry. Many TIGA members have difficulties accessing finance. Improving access to capital is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK and wider European games industries. Whilst, we continue to lobby the UK Government to introduce proposals supporting the domestic industry, TIGA is keen to engage with policy makers in Brussels too.
“The EDGF Report makes sensible recommendations, including the need for EU policy makers to recognise the cultural value of video games and the importance of improving access to finance. TIGA will work closely on behalf of our members with our European counterparts to try and deliver changes from Brussels which will benefit the UK industry. We call on the European Commission to carefully consider the EGDF’s proposals.”