The EU commission has announced that the Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) scheme in the UK will continue until at least 2023. The continuation means that the British games industry will have had access to tax relief for nearly a decade.
The UK Government confirmed this to industry bodies earlier today and it marks a continued focus on the UK's digital future. The tax relief scheme was brought in on April 1st, 2014 and covers development of a video game or software under the conditions that the video game is made in Britain, intended for general sale and that 25 per cent of the core expenditure on the game is made on services within the European Economic Area.
The scheme has been heralded as a great success in allowing developers to do more development and focus on infrastructure. Several reports have backed this up, including a report from the HRMC that said £119 million has been paid since the inception of the scheme. The full report from the EU Commission is due to be made public shortly.
“We should all be extremely proud of the UK games industry, and not just developers but the country as a whole, as the booming industry adds over £1.2 billion to the UK economy each year," said Rebellion co-founder Jason Kingsley OBE.
"This economic boost is attributed to the positive impact games tax relief continues to have in supporting the industry push the limits of creativity and technology. There’s still work to be done and we look forward to working with the government to ensure the UK games industry remains the envy of the world.
“With all the uncertainties around at the moment it’s comforting to have this major asset for the UK games industry confirmed for another five years. This will allow companies involved in the export-focused, highly-skilled and creative pursuit of making games, to plan well into the medium term. This should in turn, increase employment and bring more investment into the sector, and be very positive for the UK trade balance”
The games industries trade bodies, Ukie and TIGA also commented on the news of the VGTR's extension.
"The Video Games Tax Relief has provided a real boost to the UK games sector and the UK’s economy," said CEO of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist OBE. "Having confirmation that the VGTR can continue to operate until at least 2023 is fantastic news, providing some much needed confidence to the UK games sector and maintaining a key competitive advantage for British studios.
"We look forward to continuing to representing the sector, calling on government to introduce further measures that will help grow the UK’s games industry, particularly around continued access to highly skilled talent post-Brexit.”
"Today’s statistics clearly show that the UK video games industry is seeing strong, sustained momentum," added TIGA CEO, Dr Richard Wilson. "We are delighted that VGTR is continuing to be such a success, supporting a gaming sector which is leading the charge in the UK creative industries.
“Today’s announcement by the EU Commission is excellent news, not just for the video games industry but also for the wider economy. Video Games Tax Relief will continue to promote investment, job creation and business growth in our high technology, high skills, export focused industry."