Tiga denies â??tax preoccupationâ?? issues

Tiga denies â??tax preoccupationâ?? issues

By Rob Crossley

January 20th 2010 at 3:43PM

CEO Richard Wilson says heâ??s open to discuss any issue affecting the industry

British game industry body Tiga has played down suggestions that its exhaustive campaign for tax breaks has knocked other important development matters down the pecking order.

The group’s CEO Richard Wilson told Develop that Tiga is wholly committed to a range of issues, but clarified that he was open to discussion on the issues the group should persue.

“Yes it is true that last year we campaigned vigorously to advance the games industry’s cause and raise its profile in political circles,” he said.

“However, our core principal is that this is only one part of the work we do.

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement, and we are always looking for new ways to meet members’ interests and to respond to their concerns.”

After the UK government took the issue of game development tax breaks off the table at the end of last year, Tiga has vowed to fight on for the cause.

A number of matters, including the upcoming general election, has spurred some developers to question the logic of pushing for a cause that’s previously – however narrowly – missed its goal.

Yet Wilson gave an impassioned retort to arguments for letting the tax issue go (which you can read here), while stating that the group still has a broad remit for UK developers.

“Tiga’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business,” he said.

“We instigated the creation of the All Party Group on the Computer and Video Game Industry in Westminster, and we held two high-profile events to fly the flag for the games industry amongst politicians.

“We’re engaging with governments and parliaments to create an environment favourable to the game industry – obviously including our Westminster activities. But also we’re raising the sector’s profile, and developing services that make a genuine, material difference to our members. 

“Last year we partnered with UKTI to help games businesses to attend overseas trade shows; we launched the TIGA-NESTA Play Together initiatives; that in itself included the launch of a jobs board, a jobs sharing facility, opportunities for developers to work with other creative industries, and strengthened links between developers and universities.

“We took steps to become an awarding body to the Train2Game distance learning courses, we held networking events, published a careers guide for people looking to get into the games industry, encouraged best practice on key industry issues such as self-publishing, launched an HR Group, launched a TIGA tax group, supported Develop Liverpool and Develop Brighton, conducted research and produced numerous policy papers.”

Wilson’s final word on the matter was that the body “exists entirely to serve our members’ interests.”