Just one thing: introduce a games tax relief

Tiga Games tells George Osborne what it wants to hear in the 2012 Budget.

Tiga Games tells George Osborne what it wants to hear in the 2012 Budget.

If Osborne does one thing, it should be to introduce a games tax relief for the UK video games development sector in order to provide a powerful stimulus to the sector and so support the wider economic recovery. The UK video games development sector provides high skilled employment in an R&D intensive, export oriented industry. Ninety-five per cent of UK developers export at least some of their games. The UK video games sector has great potential and the global market for video games is growing.

A games tax relief will improve access to finance, attract inward investment, stem the brain drain of talented staff which is currently affecting the industry and significantly expand the venture capital market for games companies. TIGA has carried out research into a Games Tax Relief. This predicts that over 5 years Games Tax Relief would generate and safeguard: over 4,660 jobs (equivalent to around half of the existing workforce in the games development sector); £188 million in investment expenditure by studios; increase the games development sector's contribution to UK GDP by £283 million; generate £172 million in new and protected tax receipts to HM Treasury, and could cost just £96 million over five years.

Games Tax Relief would more than pay for itself. It would also enable UK developers to compete on a more even playing field against government backed developers in other countries: the Governments of our principal competitors in Canada, France, Singapore and the US all receive national or regional/state tax breaks for games production. In the absence of Games Tax Relief, the UK games industry is not competing on a level playing and we are losing out on jobs and investment. If Games Tax Relief is introduced then our industry will be able to compete effectively and make an important contribution to the economic recovery.

Richard Wilson is Chief Executive Office of Tiga Games

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