UK games trade body heralds new reliefs as a huge boost to the UK games and interactive entertainment sector and pledges to now further promote the UK games industry to the rest of the world.
Following today’s announcement that the long-awaited games production credit scheme has been greenlit by the European Commission, Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist said: “This is a huge boost to the UK games and interactive entertainment sector and the start of a great new era of games production in the UK. We are delighted the European Commission recognised the clear market failure for the production of games with a British and European flavour, using UK-based creative and highly skilled talent.
“We are extremely happy to have played a part, as a strong collective voice for the industry, to get the scheme over the finishing line. We have been in constant contact with government throughout the process and have applied pressure and evidence for the scheme to be introduced at every opportunity.
“I’d like to thank all the hundreds of games companies and individuals across the country who have worked so hard collectively and who have played such a crucial role in getting to this point. The next strategic priority for us now is in applying pressure in different ways so that games businesses can access more programmes which support access to international markets, training and finance so we can be fully recognised as a sector that can lead the world again.”
Ukie will be focussing on ensuring UK developers from all parts of the country and of all sizes know how to benefit from the scheme. Ukie will also be working with its creative industry partners and the UKTI to ensure more support can be accessed by UK businesses to access new markets and to promote the UK as a destination for studios.
“We are touring the country for a series of events with experts from UK government and other industry experts to give simple, clear advice to the companies so they know what they have to do to benefit.”
Ukie will be hosting a high level event at BAFTA on Friday 4th April, with a contribution from a Senior Government Minister.
Other leading industry figures also welcomed the news.
Ian Livingstone CBE, Ukie Vice Chair said: “This is a great boost for the UK games industry, and excellent news for jobs and growth. There is no doubting the cultural, social and economic importance of games, the fastest-growing entertainment industry in the world. The new production tax credit will help UK games development talent to create even more world class, culturally British content for global audiences to enjoy. This support will undoubtedly result in a greater contribution from the games industry to the UK’s digital economy.”
Ella Romanos, entrepreneur and Ukie Board member said: “It’s great news that the European Commission has at last approved the tax breaks that we are sure will help the UK games industry grow and compete effectively on an international scale. I look forward to seeing the tax breaks launch, and how games and companies will benefit from them over the coming few years.”
Chair of Mastertronic and Ukie, Andy Payne said: “At last. We have already had one false start back in 2010 and now we have had to wait since April 2013 for these to be finally agreed by the EU. But let’s put all this behind us and build connected winning technology and entertainment businesses for the 21st century. The film, TV and animation industries have benefited greatly from the production tax credits, so stand back and watch games grow and grow, delivering wealth and jobs.“
James Brooksby, CEO of Born Ready Games and Ukie Board member said: ”The Tax Breaks for the UK games industry have been hard fought for and I am incredibly pleased that the industry has finally been recognised for what it is, and what it can be in the future. Born Ready Games has gone through the process of trying to raise investment in the video games sector and I truly believe that the tax breaks will make a huge difference in businesses’ abilities to raise finance in the future. The tax breaks are also going to help secure jobs in this industry, which on the whole has previously been ignored as a very important part of Britain’s creative sector.”
Noirin Carmody, COO of Revolution Software and Ukie Board member said: “This is very welcome news for the UK games industry that will secure economic and cultural sustainability for the industry as a whole. The tax breaks will maintain creativity and innovation in established games businesses like Revolution resulting to increased growth and encourage new start-ups.”
“Revolution have been writing games in York for over 24 years and during this time we have experienced how difficult it can be to balance creating original content with the commercial realities of a crowded global marketplace and attracting the best talent. The new tax breaks will give us and other games business of all sizes, throughout the UK, an amazing opportunity to attract skilled talent that we need to make new and exciting British content that can sell to an expanding global audience.”
Ukie will be launching their tax production credit roadshows and how to workshops around the UK from April with tax experts Saffery Champness and the BFI (who are administering the cultural test) on hand to help developers understand how they can apply for them. The first briefing session will be on 15 April in London at UkieHQ (2pm). Further sessions will also be held on the evening of 30 April in Edinburgh (6pm) in partnership with the Scottish Games Network and in Birmingham on the afternoon of 2 May (2pm), in partnership with Innovation Birmingham.
More dates in Newcastle, Liverpool and Bristol will be confirmed soon.