What makes a game 'British'? UK Gov wants to know

What makes a game 'British'? UK Gov wants to know
Michael French

By Michael French

October 1st 2012 at 4:05PM

Department of Culture, Media and Sport opens direct line for games professionals to shape games tax breaks policy

The UK government has today opened the call for industry feedback on its imminent tax break for games economic policy.

In the March 2012 Budget UK chancellor George Osborne announced that the Government will introduce corporation tax reliefs for the animation, high-end television and video games industries from April 2013.

But they are subject to European Commission rules on State Aid - one of which is the stipulation that such subsidies ensure qualifying titles have cultural relevance.

The 'cultural test' would award points for those elements that contribute to "the overall cultural value of a video game, animation or high-end television programme".

The DCMS has used the already existing tax breaks for film companies to shape this, but wants industry stakeholders to send in feedback too.

Although UKIE and TIGA have already consulted at length with developers, DCMS is open to further feedback from individuals.

The call is open until October 29th.

Comments should be sent to:

DCMS
2-4 Cockspur Street
London
SW1Y 5DH
Email: high-endtv.culturaltest@culture.gsi.gov.uk
Email: animation.culturaltest@culture.gsi.gov.uk
Email: videogames.culturaltest@culture.gsi.gov.uk
 
UKIE is also offering developers a way to help shape questions to send to the DCMS through an online questionnaire and a number of seminars.

The questionnaire covers the four sections in the proposed test for games tax breaks, which includes covering the content of the game; its contribution to cultural creativity, heritage and diversity; where it is made; and who makes it.

The seminars have been designed for games industry professionals to learn more about the proposals and give businesses the chance to offer feedback. These will take place on October 16th and 23rd. You can book a place at a seminar and also send input on the cultural test at: consultations@ukie.org.uk

In a statement, the department said:

"Video games, animation and high-end television play an important role in British culture and present a major opportunity for economic growth.

"In providing tax relief, the Government is seeking to promote the sustainable production of culturally British product/content by; Encouraging the production of video games, animation and high-end television  that might not otherwise be made; Promoting sustainability in these sectors, and; Maintaining a critical mass of UK infrastructure, creative and technical expertise, to facilitate the production of culturally British video games, animation and high-end television."

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey commented: “Government is committed to supporting these creative and dynamic sectors by introducing tax reliefs for these industries. The film tax relief has been a huge success and I encourage all those with a vested interest in the animation, high-end television and video games industries to take part in this exercise, and make sure your views are known.”

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke added: “The Government is bringing in these new tax reliefs – to be among the most generous internationally – to support the UK’s already world-class creative industries.

"These sectors not only make a cultural contribution to the UK, they make an economic one, creating products showcasing Britain that we export around the world.  I have been meeting with businesses in these innovative, high-tech sectors in the US this week and have been pleased to hear that they consider the new reliefs to increase the UK’s global competitiveness.”