'Government MUST act,' says Tiga

'Government MUST act,' says Tiga
Michael French

By Michael French

September 29th 2008 at 2:55PM

Trade association urges authorities to look at tax breaks, better R&D incentives and educational support

In perhaps it's most vocal move yet, UK games development trade association Tiga has today told the Government that it must look to better support the British games industry.

Speaking in a new policy document distributed to its members, the organisation said "if the UK is to become the best place in the world to do games business then it must reduce the burden of taxation, increase the supply of mathematics and computer science graduates without reducing quality, and increase support for research and development".

Specifically, the organisation called for: "lighter business taxation, achieved either through a tax break for games production and training or through lower corporation tax; an increase in mathematics and science graduates to be achieved through a range of policies, including a reduction in tuition fees for mathematics and computer science undergraduates; and measures to promote knowledge transfer both between universities and the games industry and between the games sector and other industries".

While authorities have made some progress, said Tiga - singling out support in principal for a Games Centre for Excellence, its commitment to the Technology Strategy Board's £10m R&D fund, plus the desire to see more businesses in the creative industries - the organisation said there was still much to be done between Government and Games.

Criticisms of the Governments "failure to appreciate the significance of the tax environment as a source of competitive advantage for business in general and the games industry in particular; and its focus on increasing the number of apprenticeships in the creative sectors of the economy rather than developing policies to increase the supply of graduates in key academic, educational and vocational areas" were paramount.

“UK games businesses provide innovative, high quality games, produced on time and at great value. If the UK national government and the Scottish administration provide a supportive policy framework then we can enhance our competitive advantage against overseas competitors still further," said Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga.

“Lower business taxation, a greater supply of good quality graduates and vigorous support for research and development should be the holy grail of policy for the games industry.

“The UK video games industry already possesses a skilled workforce, experienced management teams and an effective approach to outsourcing. Our industry will be world beating with a policy framework that leads to lighter business taxation, an increase in the supply of graduates and which supports knowledge transfer and research and development.”