21 March 2012 - London, United Kingdom – Games and interactive entertainment trade body UKIE has welcomed the announcement made in today’s budget to introduce a production tax credit for the UK’s video games industry.
The Chancellor today announced that a tax credit would be available for the production of content by the UK’s digital and creative media industries – including the video games sector.
UKIE has strongly supported the call for tax breaks for the UK games industry, most recently in its Access to Finance paper sent to government this month as part of its pre-budget submission and through conversations with government right up to today’s budget.
This is the second big policy victory of the year for the UK games industry, following the success of the UKIE-led Next Gen Skills Campaign to have computer science taught in England’s schools.
UKIE will now be working with government to ensure that production tax credits deliver maximum benefit to the UK games and interactive industry.
UKIE CEO, Dr Jo Twist said: “This is fantastic news. The UK’s games and wider interactive entertainment industry needs two things: a competitive tax regime and kids being taught the right skills in schools. Together this starts to make up a really good environment for all UK games and interactive entertainment businesses, from start-ups and innovative connected formats, to major studios.”
“UKIE will now be offering practical help to games businesses of all sizes to understand how to make the most of tax breaks and other funding that is available to them. We shall also be working hard to promote the UK to the rest of the world. We believe it is the top place to create all types of games and interactive entertainment formats - from apps, to innovative connected formats, through to big, blockbuster ’AAA’ titles.”
Eidos Life President and UKIE Deputy Chair Ian Livingstone said, “Today’s announcement sends a very positive message to the world for the UK to claim it is the best place to develop games and digital content. The UK is arguably the most creative nation in the world, including its world-class games designers.”
“The government’s recent announcement on computer science being taught in schools, coupled with today’s introduction of a competitive tax regime regarding production, helps UK studios to compete internationally on a level playing field. The incentives are now there to encourage inward investment, job creation and for the UK games industry to reclaim its position as a world leader in games production.”
UKIE Chairman Andy Payne said: “Congratulations must go to everyone who has campaigned so hard for tax breaks to be introduced for the UK’s games industry. It’s now up to everyone involved to work together to ensure that the games industry takes advantage of the opportunities it has been given. UKIE will be working with government to make sure that production tax credits deliver real benefits for the UK games industry.”
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The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or UKIE is a trade body that represents the whole of the UK’s video games and wider interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 (and formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE’s membership includes games publishers, developers and the academic institutions that support the industry.
UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, tax incentives and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
One of UKIE’s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.
In addition, UKIE works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.