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Cancellation of Games Tax Relief could jeopardise inward investment

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that the Coalition Government’s decision not to proceed with video Games Tax Relief in the Emergency Budget could jeopardise inward investment. TIGA made the comments following the report in today’s Financial Times that the absence of Games Tax Relief could adversely affect the decisions of major games businesses to invest in the UK.

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:

“The UK video games industry is not competing on a level playing field. Our key competitors have tax breaks for video games production. No such tax break exists in the UK. TIGA’s Games Tax Relief would put the UK on a level playing field. If Games Tax Relief is introduced then the UK will be open for business for the crucial knowledge industry of video game development. Games Tax Relief will stimulate investment, business growth and the creation of highly skilled jobs. Without Games Tax Relief, the UK faces a serious risk of losing out on millions of pounds of investment.”

According to the Financial Times Activision Blizzard, the world's largest video games publisher, said the government's decision to scrap planned tax relief for the sector could threaten the company's intention to invest in the UK.

"For us to continue to invest in the UK there needs to be an incentive provided for us to do so," said Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Activision Blizzard.

"The talent pool in the UK is among the best in the world for what we do. But we really need to see some more incentives. We are seeing great incentives in Canada, Singapore and eastern bloc countries," he said.

The group employs 700 people in the UK, and owns studios in Liverpool and Leamington Spa that have produced titles such as Blur, a racing game, and DJ Hero, a follow-up to its successful Guitar Hero franchise. This week the company joined TIGA, which has campaigned consistently and vigorously for Games Tax Relief.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, which employs more than 1,200 games developers and has three development studios in the UK, also said withdrawal of the promised tax relief could affect its plans.

In Canada, games companies can get tax relief of 30-40 per cent on items such as wages. France recently introduced a 20 per cent tax relief scheme for the industry, following which Ubisoft, the French games publisher, boosted its investment.

The Financial Times article can be accessed at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/92b5e4c6-839d-11df-b6d5-00144feabdc0.html Subhe

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