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Trade bodies insist tax breaks are bringing triple-A companies to UK

Trade bodies insist tax breaks are bringing triple-A companies to UK

The UK's video game trade bodies UKIE and TIGA have said that the country's current tax relief is attracting big companies.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the organisations say that government support has been instrumental in the likes of Activision's Sledgehammer Games and Square Enix setting up new studios in the UK. The former has opened up a new outpost in Guildford, while the latter has established a mobile-focused developer in London. 

The duo also reckons that with further government support the UK could attract even more games businesses.

"The combination of a deep talent pool, friendly regulatory environment, a range of competitive tax incentives - including Video Game Tax Relief - and the UK's role as a hub for global business has helped us establish that position successfully," UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE said.

"But with the world waking up to the value of games, it's important we strengthen our sector further to continue delivering benefits back to the economy at large. That's why we're calling on the Government to invest more in innovation and creative-led sectors such as games to do this. Improving VGTR will ensure we can remain competitive internationally and additional investment into the UK Games Fund will help support grassroots games businesses across the country."

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson added: "Inward investment by global games businesses such as Activision and Square Enix in the UK is primarily due to two factors. Firstly, the provision of Video Games Tax Relief, a measure which helps to reduce the cost of games development. Secondly, the existence of a critical mass of highly skilled games developers available to work on triple-A games, the supply of which is supported by the UK's many excellent universities.

"If the UK maintains and enhances Video Games Tax Relief, supports FE colleges and universities in providing high-quality education and enables studios to recruit highly skilled developers from overseas, then we have the potential to attract further significant investment into our games industry."

In the 2020/21 year, the UK dolled out $247 million in tax relief.

VGTR has come under fire in the past for most giving out financial support to triple-A companies.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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