The second most powerful man in UK politics is today visiting renowned Dundee studio Realtime Worlds to discuss tax break support for the game industry.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is being shown a demonstration of upcoming PC title All Points Bulletin, and – as part of his campaign trail plans – has also arranged an interview with the studio’s creative director David Jones.
"I’m very pleased to visit Realtime Worlds and see the development of new games and products,” said Darling.
“Scotland and the UK can lead the world in creative industries and computer games technology and the commitments from Labour in our manifesto make clear the help we will offer. Realtime Worlds have led the industry in many ways and are a hugely important player in the Scottish economy.
He added that the technology used in computer games has very significant potential for other industries.
Realtime Worlds has for many months been a vocal force on the pivotal issue of game development tax breaks. When the Labour Government rejected calls for state support back in December, the studio told Develop that the snub would push UK studios abroad.
Yet the full Budget speech in March saw the Labour Government make an electrifying policy reversal, with Darling personally declaring full tax relief support for the sector.
As Darling visited the Dundee studio, Jones commented: “The UK is at the sharp end of game development, innovation and creativity. The same kind of tax relief currently in place to help drive other entertainment industries, like film, is vital to keep Britain at the forefront of this growth industry”.
The Conservative position on game development tax breaks has been marred in ambiguity, yet the party’s spokesperson for the game industry told Develop on Tuesday that a ‘mini-manifesto’ on game tax breaks will be released next week. It is said that the document will solidify the Tories’ position on state support for the sector.