The positive effect that tomorrow's Budget could have on the UK’s creative sector has been underlined by new figures showing the chancellor’s previous measures have helped to end a three-year jobs decline in the video games industry.
TIGA, on behalf of games developers and publishers, yesterday said that George Osborne’s unveiling of tax breaks in his March 2012 Budget was one of three elements that have contributed to more studio jobs and creative roles in the industry.
In fact, the chancellor’s Games Tax Relief is already “stimulating growth” - ahead of its introduction next month - in the shape of 336 extra creative staff and 119 additional studios over the last 12 months, said TIGA boss Dr Richard Wilson.
He acknowledged that the rise of mobile and tablet devices has also made games more popular and has led to higher staff demand. At the same time, the closure of big console-based studios – and their replacement by start-ups – is the third supporting element.
But even these small, nascent gaming companies may have their roots in Mr Osborne’s last Budget offering, which was loosely based on a similar system of tax incentives for the UK film industry.
“Games Tax Relief effectively reduces the cost of games development and it has contributed to inward investment by major international games companies”, TIGA said. “Jobs and investment in the games industry are set grow further once Games Tax Relief comes into effect from April 2013.”