Tiga CEO Richard Wilson has told SPOnG today that the association is "confident" it can approve proposals sent to the European Commission that will allow the UK games industry to qualify for tax breaks.
The news follows comments made
by the Government's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw, that tax breaks for the video game industry would be "looked into". We assume, the process would be as simple as giving game developers in the country the same sorts of benefits as the film industry.
But recent revelations to Develop
by the UK's Culture Department (DCMS) paint a more complicated picture - suggesting that even if Westminster passes such proposals by Tiga, the decision would ultimately be down to the European Commission and result in a tedious back-and-forth that may not provide results for years.
Richard Wilson said to SPOnG on the matter; "We submitted our evidence to the Department of Culture Media and Sport on August 28, 2009. Our detailed 60 page-plus report provides a robust argument for the introduction of a tax break for games production here in the UK. We understand the DCMS are currently reviewing our evidence and if they support our call for tax relief they will present the argument to the Treasury.With regards to the EU, the French games industry currently benefits from a cultural tax break for games production, so we are confident the EU would be similarly supportive of tax relief for the UK games industry."
So cautiously optimistic, then. However, considering that it reportedly took at least a year for the French games industry to obtain tax breaks, we're not exactly expecting a speedy response from Brussels.