Tiga Disappointed with UK’s Budgetary Lack of Support for Industry (Updated)

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Tiga said today that the Government’s Budget had once again failed to back one of the principal creative industries of the future - games development. The proposed budget handed down today includes £671 billion over the coming financial year, including £300 million on the vehicle scrappage scheme, it does not include the £150 million over five years to invest in the tax break for games production which Tiga has been campaigning for.

Of the £750 million strategic investment fund  approximately £50 million  will be allocated to the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and an additional £10 million will be allocated to UK Trade & Investment (UKT&I) to help exporters. These are two key areas where the money could funnel down to games industry players but is far from enough says Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga.

He continued on to say that some UK game developers have already benefited from TSB funding and many have been helped by UKT&I in the past. As an accredited trade organisation, Tiga can work with UKTI’s Tradeshow Access Programme in supporting UK businesses looking to exhibit at overseas trade shows; we hope that some of this additional money for UKT&I will be made available to help even more games businesses attend overseas trade shows in the future.

Meanwhile there is another £250 million allocated to help people get work experience in growth industries and this could be used by the games industry as well depending on the rules applied to that money. It might allow games industries to give some valuable work experience to skilled individuals while getting some sorely needed help.

“Nevertheless, the Government has missed a trick," said Richard, "Video games are a growing sector and the UK games development sector is still world beating. The Government should have used today’s Budget to reinforce success and introduced a tax break for games production. It is disappointing that it failed to do so.”

 So is this the beginning of the end for the games industry in the UK? Could this be the start of a string of companies closing down to do lack of funding or a series of desertions to other countries where labor might be cheaper or the government more willing to offer support, funding and tax incentives? I posed these questions to Richard Wilson just today:

"No to both questions. Absolutely not. The UK video games industry is nothing if not resilient. The UK video games sector is a success story. With Government support we could be even more competitive. In the absence of Government backing the UK video games development industry will still be successful, but not as successful as we could or should be."

In : PC

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