UKâ??s regional support plans criticised as a â??postcode lotteryâ?
UK games industry group Tiga has criticised the UK’s current policy of region-based support for game development studios.
Tiga CEO Richard Wilson described the policy - where different constituencies across Britain receive varying levels of support – as a “postcode lottery”.
The government recently clarified its game funding policy in a parliament session, revealing that nine Regional Development Agencies (RDA) exist in the UK and provide support within their district.
“The current post code lottery for funding the video games sector in England fails to ensure that all regions with potential are adequately supported,” said Wilson.
“For instance, while games businesses in Yorkshire are admirably supported by Yorkshire Forward through Game Republic and those in East Anglia by the EEDA through Games Eden, those in Oxfordshire receive no meaningful RDA support.”
Wilson concluded that regional support was not the ultimate solution for the UK games sector. What is needed, he said, is a national solution such as a game development tax break.
“This tax measure – which would benefit games developers throughout the UK – could help 60-80 titles per year, trigger growth in employment, new game development, innovation and investment, and more sustainable business models for British studios by selling directly to consumers,” added Wilson.
A cultural UK game tax break is currently being considered by the government, though Westminster has not given a deadline on reaching a decision.