In the case of the video games industry, the Government should create a supportive tax environment by introducing Games Tax Relief and improving R&D tax credits; help more developers attend overseas tradeshows; and aggressively market the UK as a centre for game development.
TIGA made the comments in response to a call for evidence by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to gather perspectives on UK trade and investment performance and potential, and the role of Government. The views gathered will inform the development of a Government White Paper.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
“Although sterling has declined by 25 per cent since late 2007, the UK’s trade performance has been disappointing. The overall trade deficit was£12.2 billion in three months to November 2010.
“The games development sector has the potential to support export driven economic growth. The sector is export oriented: UK game developers export games all over the world and the typical development studio generates 62 per cent of its turnover through exports. Developers such as Rebellion in Oxford and Blitz in Leamington Spa generate around 90 per cent of their turnover through the export of their games.
“If exports are to make a significant contribution to the UK’s economic recovery then the Government must actively create an environment that is favourable to exporters. In the case of the video games industry, the Government should create a supportive tax environment by introducing Games Tax Relief and improving R&D tax credits, help more developers attend overseas tradeshows, and aggressively market the UK as a centre for game development.”
TIGA recommends that the Government take the following five steps to support the game development’s sector capacity to export:
• Introduce Games Tax Relief: this would have the effect of enabling many UK owned games businesses to expand their operations and export still more content; it would also encourage overseas publishers to invest in the UK;
• Enhance R&D tax credits: this would provide many game developers with more financial resources, thereby allowing them to grow their businesses and export more games;
• Expand UKT&I’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP). UKT&I works with accredited trade organisations such as TIGA to operate the TAP. The scheme supports UK businesses looking to exhibit at overseas trade shows by providing eligible firms with grants of£1,000,£1,400 or£1,800, depending on the location of the trade show. TIGA is helping many games developers to attend either GDC or Game Connection at GDC 2011.More TAP grants should be made available to businesses that wish to exhibit at overseas tradeshows. TAP is designed to help businesses that are new to export so there are limits as to how often a firm can apply for TAP funding. From 1 April 2009 an eligible company can receive a total of 6 grants and cover exhibitions in at least 2 markets (countries). If the Government wants to help existing exporters to export more, these restrictions could be lifted.
• Accredited trade organisations such as TIGA should be allowed to use UK Trade&Investment (UKT&I) grants to cover travel and accommodation costs as well exhibition expenses. This would enable more eligible games businesses to attend trade shows, thereby enhancing their potential to export. Not all games businesses need to exhibit at tradeshows to win export orders.
• The Government and UKT&I should work with accredited trade associations such as TIGA to aggressively market the UK as a centre for game development.
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. TIGA has also been 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 organisation.
TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. 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 Eva Field, TIGA PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.