Activision: Tax breaks will be a game changer

Activision: Tax breaks will be a game changer

By Rob Crossley

June 28th 2010 at 2:12PM

The publishing empire becomes the newest member of TIGA

The world’s largest third-party publisher has become the newest member of UK game trade association TIGA.

Though the publishing empire has its headquarters in California, the group has two studio investments in Britain, with the Liverpool-based Bizarre Creations as well as Leamington Spa based FreeStyleGames.

Previously Activision had joined Tiga in a visit to MPs to argue the case for a tax break.

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson revealed his delight at bringing such a heavyweight game company to its union of UK studios.

“The support of Activision Blizzard is a huge boost for TIGA and for our campaign to secure Games Tax Relief,” he said.

“Brian Ward [Activision Publishing senior vice  president] and I have already met with MPs in the UK to press home the case for Games Tax Relief,” he added.

“Our message is simple: back Games Tax Relief and benefit from more investment and more jobs in a high technology, export oriented industry, or risk investment drifting away to other, more forward thinking countries.”

George Rose, executive vice president at Activision Blizzard, said the firm joined TIGA partly as a testament to its support to the British games tax break campaign – which itself has this year been on the cusp of triumph only to fall apart at the eleventh hour.

“The UK has one of the most talented and creative workforces anywhere in the industry,” said Rose.

“The introduction of Games Tax Relief in the UK will be a game changer. It will make the UK a significantly more attractive place to invest in games development. Games Tax Relief will lead to increased investment, more job creation and power economic growth.

“However, if Games Tax Relief is not introduced then the UK will remain at a real disadvantage in comparison to other territories as a location for inward investment. Without Games Tax Relief the UK games industry will not fulfill its potential.”

Activision has joined forces with TIGA in the wake of a Develop report last week that revealed at least one global publishing company had campaigned against games tax breaks.

The report had been the subject of criticism and controversy, specifically from news site GamesIndustry.biz, which elected to scrape together a perplexing jumble of basic comments from top industry heads – many of which had contradicted each other.

Develop continues to investigate the issue.