Ukie welcomes first details of production tax relief scheme outlined in Chancellor?s Autumn Statement

Announcement of games industry skills fund also seen as a timely and favourable step to foster continued industry growth

Posted by Staff
5 December 2012 - London, United Kingdom ? The UK Games and interactive entertainment trade body today welcomes the Autumn Statement as positive step for the games industry.

Although the full draft legislation for the new games industry tax relief scheme has not yet been revealed, the first sight of some of the detail of the proposed scheme seems positive for the games and interactive entertainment industry.
Main headlines from today?s Autumn Statement:

* Proposed rate of production tax relief set at 25% for UK games development
* Share of a 6m skills fund is to be made available to the games industry
* UKTI funding to be increased by 25%
* Corporation tax to be further reduced to 21% by 2014

With initial details of the production tax relief system being revealed today, Ukie said it was pleased that the proposed rate of production tax relief was 25% for UK games development.

The Chancellor has also announced further, much welcomed, support for the games industry in the form of a skills fund of 6 million that has been established to improve the skills for the TV, film and games industries. The government will use this money (administered by Creative Skillset) to match-fund any industry contribution that goes towards improving the skills from these industries.

As the cross-industry fund allocation is to be confirmed in the coming weeks, Ukie makes a strong call for a minimum of parity with the other sectors, to give the gaming community a strong path to the next generation of development talent.

Ukie also said that proper scrutiny of the full draft legislation of how the new tax relief scheme will work would be needed. It is hoping that a full draft proposal will be published shortly.

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said: "This first detail of the tax relief seems a positive step for our members and the wider industry. Whilst we called for a 30% rate of relief for the scheme, Ukie was nonetheless pleased to see the rate set at 25%, giving the games sector parity with other UK creative industries.

"As soon as the full draft legislation is published we?ll be poring over the finer details to ensure that the fine tuning and implementation of the proposal is fully in line with the needs of our industry."

"We?re also delighted that the Chancellor has recognised the need to ensure the long term future of the UK games industry by introducing a skills fund that the games sector can access. We?ll be working with Government and Creative Skillset to make sure that this extra element adds real value to UK games businesses."

"It was also great to hear that UKTI will be receiving more funding as we are planning a major campaign next year to promote UK games companies to global markets and will be working with government to deliver this."

Ukie Vice Chairman and Life President of Eidos, Ian Livingstone said: "The government?s understanding of the importance of the games industry has increased dramatically in recent years. Tax relief for games production combined with computer science on the national curriculum are major boosts for the industry. Today?s announcement of additional skills funding is more positive news, and a welcome sign of the games industry being seen as having the potential to be a leading growth industry to help drive the digital economy of the UK in the 21st century."

Ukie chairman, lead at AppyNation, Chair of Mastertronic and Just Flight, Andy Payne said: "Having run an independent games development and publishing company for many years, seeing this happen is great and long overdue news. At Just Flight, it will make a massive difference to our ability to deliver more flight-sim and train-sim content to our world-wide fan base. At AppyNation, six indie developers (Chromativity, Proper Games, Supersonic, Niffler, Onteca and Finblade) effectively own their own publisher and this will make a huge difference to our ability to create compelling free to play mobile content which we sell to pretty much every single country that have Smart devices. We want all of these UK based teams will be able to grow their businesses as a direct result of these production tax credits, by increasing sales and investing in people."

CEO Mediatonic, Dave Bailey commented: "We were involved in the initial consultation on tax breaks and it?s great that government seem be listening to the industry. Games are a tough global business and having tax breaks will make it easier for our business to compete."

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About Ukie
The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that aims to support, grow and promote the whole of the UK?s games and interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 2010 (although formerly known as ELSPA), UKIE?s membership includes all the major UK and global games publishers and the best of UK development talent - from promising start-ups to some of the biggest, most successful studios operating in the UK today.

We also have distributors, academic institutions, new publishers, and media outlets that are integral to the lifeblood of the industry as part of the family.

UKIE works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, access to finance and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry?s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.

One of Ukie?s key roles is to support its members by providing them with key market information, promoting careers and offering the business support services, training and best-practice knowledge to enable them to operate most effectively.

We also offer a comprehensive events programme to give the games industry access to key information, leading industry figures and give everyone the chance to network. You can see our events programme here

In addition, Ukie compiles weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.

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