Tiga sets out policy framework for supporting the games industry

29th September 2008

Tiga today told the UK Government that if the UK is to become the best place in the world to do games business then it must reduce the burden of taxation, increase the supply of mathematics and computer science graduates without reducing quality, and increase support for research and development. Tiga made the points in its new policy magazine, Download, Issue 01, which sets out a comprehensive response to the Government’s strategy for the creative industries.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:

“UK games businesses provide innovative, high quality games, produced on time and at great value. If the UK national government and the Scottish administration provide a supportive policy framework then we can enhance our competitive advantage against overseas competitors still further.

“Lower business taxation, a greater supply of good quality graduates and vigorous support for research and development should be the holy grail of policy for the games industry.”

Tiga called for:

• lighter business taxation, achieved either through a tax break for games production and training or through lower corporation tax;

• an increase in mathematics and science graduates to be achieved through a range of policies, including a reduction in tuition fees for mathematics and computer science undergraduates; and

• measures to promote knowledge transfer both between universities and the games industry and between the games sector and other industries, for example, via the Creative Industries Technology Innovation Network, of which Tiga is a member.

Tiga praised the Government for:

• its support in principal for a Games Centre for Excellence: a finishing school for graduates could help to provide the games industry with more work ready employees;

• its desire to see more businesses in the creative industries including games developers bid for money from the Enterprise Capital Funds; and

• its commitment that the Technology Strategy Board will provide£10 million to encourage collaborative research and development ideas for creative industries to work together and to share knowledge.

However, Tiga criticised the UK Government for:

• its failure to appreciate the significance of the tax environment as a source of competitive advantage for business in general and the games industry in particular; and

• its focus on increasing the number of apprenticeships in the creative sectors of the economy rather than developing policies to increase the supply of graduates in key academic, educational and vocational areas.

Richard Wilson concluded:

“The UK video games industry already possesses a skilled workforce, experienced management teams and an effective approach to outsourcing. Our industry will be world beating with a policy framework that leads to lighter business taxation, an increase in the supply of graduates and which supports knowledge transfer and research and development.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 157 members, the majority of whom are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and university departments within our membership.

2. 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.

3. Download 01 September 2008. Encouraging the creative industries: the Government’s strategy and Tiga’s response is available from Tiga. Please contact Steff Rickwood:

Phone: 0845 0941095

Web: www.tiga.org

4. The Government’s strategy paper for the creative industries was articulated in Creative Britain. New talents for the new economy (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, 2008).

5. For further information contact Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO:

E-Mail: richard.wilson@tiga.org.

Phone: 0845 0941095

Mobile: 07875 939643

Web: www.tiga.org


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