237 games were approved for tax relief in 2015

£729m spent by eligible devs during first full year of financial support
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The first full year of tax relief for games makers has seen more than 200 approved titles, with almost half passing final certification.

The BFI has announced that 237 games were approved for Video Games Tax Relief in 2015, which marked the first full year of the legislation since passing in April 2014.

Of these 237, 116 have been confirmed to pass final certification, with 121 currently in interim stages.

In total, £180.9 million was spent by devs on fully certificated titles in the UK/EEA, with £548 million used to create interim projects, to a total of £728.9 million.

The BFI commented that the majority of games that successfully applied for relief had budgets of less than £1 million, with a larger number of those with interim certification having bigger budgets – explaining the disparity in the total spend.

“These figures show that the Video Games Tax relief is working to encourage strong growth in our sector,” commented UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist.

“The high interim figures also indicate that this is only expected to show more growth in the coming months and years, with more culturally British games being created in the UK with a wider range of budgets.”

Twist also pledged her support for a more detailed understanding of the benefits of providing tax relief to studios.

“Now that we have a clearer picture of the impact, with the full first year’s figures, UKIE would like further detail to be provided, starting with a regional breakdown of the numbers to show how VGTR is helping across the country,” she explained.

“We are now undeniably in a stronger place thanks to VGTR. We have a level playing field with the rest of the world, and now we need to capitalise on that opportunity."

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson added: “Games Tax Relief has played a key part in reviving the UK video games industry and helped the sector grow by almost 10 per cent in 2014. Today’s figures from the BFI show that the GTR is helping the production of more culturally British video games and boosting investment into the sector.

"Yet we can do more. In particular, we should examine the case for increasing the £1m subcontracting limit that GTR currently operates under, promote GTR at home and abroad and work to ensure that more developers use this valuable Tax Relief.”

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