Tiga, which represents UK games developers, has called on the government to take a leaf out of Canada's book as it considers the Pre-Budget Report.
The organisation said that a recent incentive from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ontario, Canada, shows that governments can still financially support business in the face of the current economic downturn.
“The credit crunch, turmoil in the financial markets and declining economic activity constrain a government’s fiscal room for manoeuvre; but constraint is not the same as paralysis. Just as the Ontario administration is supporting its games developers in the midst of difficult economic conditions, so the UK government should back its video games industry”, said Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga.
The initiative in question would appear to be Ontario's Next Generation of Jobs fund. It sets aside $1.15 billion CAD (£600,789m, or €772,722m) for stimulating economic growth. It should be noted that while 'Digital Media and Information and Communications technologies' fall under the programme's remit, they are not its sole focus.
Wilson goes on - “UK video games developers have a skilled workforce; experienced management teams; and an effective approach to outsourcing. UK games businesses offer high quality games, produced on time and at great value. The 14% decline in the value of sterling against the dollar over the last 10 months has enhanced the inherent value and competitiveness of UK games developers.”
Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that the phrase “UK video games developers have a skilled workforce; experienced management teams; and an effective approach to outsourcing” cropped up in another call for tax breaks from Tiga
a week ago, with just one word difference.
Finally, Wilson said, “The UK government can build on these competitive advantages in the Pre-Budget Report by announcing a consultation on the merits of a tax credit for games production and eventual reductions in corporation tax. Consultation on these measures would give a powerful signal of support to the UK games industry. Implementation of these ideas in the March 2009 Budget would provide a potent fillip to the UK games development industry.”