Video games sector pushes for tax breaks<br>

George Osborne could ‘tick all the boxes for the digital economy’ in one fell swoop next month, if he announces tax relief for video games makers in his Budget on March 23rd.

Despite using last year’s emergency Budget to halt the relief, loosely based on the film tax credit regime, the chancellor is said to be reconsidering it for gamers in his big red book of 2011.

First conceived by the Labour government, the relief is among six key areas which Mr Osborne is exploring with input from creative industry bosses, the Sunday Times reported.

Although the newspaper did not cite any sources to evidence its claims, its article has revived calls for the £30m-a-year tax break for developers, most vocally from video games body TIGA.

Since the article, TIGA chief executive Richard Wilson has said introducing the incentive would create or retain almost 10,000 UK jobs – including 3,300 jobs in the gaming sector alone.

It makes further “economic sense”, he explained, given that the economy shrunk in the last quarter and because the chancellor will find that the relief “more than pays for itself,” over its five-year lifetime.

His appeal will be cheered on by leading games developers and studios, concerned that their investment plans could suffer from the general lack of tax relief and support from the UK government.

Only last week, the president of Eidos said: “Video games production plays to the UK’s twin strengths of creativity and high-technology and ticks all the boxes for the digital economy.”

Ian Livingstone is a high-profile supporter of games tax breaks, but his comments were a response to new research that indicates cash incentives alone won’t solve all of the industry’s problems. You don't have to rack your brains seeking creative and innovative ways from composing your documents anymore. If you get in contact with professional essay writers then will do! Essay writers are experts when it comes to essay writing, which means you should leave the writing to them for this reason - to help you! So far as their writing skills are concerned, they will not sacrifice their creativity to help you out. You just need to sit back and allow them to do the rest; after all, composing an essay is not too hard once you understand the way the pro writes a successful composition!

In fact, the government-backed skills review on the video games industry, of which he is co-author, this month reported that most schools and universities fail to turn out ‘industry-ready’ students.

The implied gap between what is being taught - and what industry employers actually want, may also be responsible for the generally poor awareness level about the profile of the UK games industry.

According to the review, only 3 per cent of young people know that top-selling video games like Grand Theft Auto and SingStar were developed in the UK. Among relevant teachers, the awareness creeps up, but to only about a fifth.

More pressing for the economy is that out of the 1,500 or so graduates from the 141 ‘specialist’ video games courses reviewed, only 12 per cent found an industry job within six months.

As a result, “urgent changes must be made to the education system” to ensure that children are being taught the right skills to succeed in a video games career, and to ensure they are aware of the sector’s opportunities and potential.

Michael Rawlinson, director-general of interactive trade body UKIE, reflected: "The UK has a heritage in developing video games that we can be very proud of.

“However, if we are to continue to produce world-class interactive entertainment we need to ensure that we have a world-class work force to produce it." 


22nd February 2011

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