A videogame group has called on the European Union (EU) Commission to seize the day and approve the UK’s video Games Tax Relief (GTR).
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, made the comments in a formal response to the EU Commission’s investigation into the case for Games Tax Relief (GTR).
The group has led the campaign for GTR over the last five and a half years.
The UK Government finally adopted this policy in the March 2012 Budget but the EU Commission announced its intention to carry out a formal investigation into GTR in April 2013.
TIGA sets out four key arguments that video games are cultural products similar to other audio-visual creations (e.g. film) and so merit support.
That the game development process is a cultural activity on a par with animation and film production.
Video games are developed by teams of artists, animators, musicians (and other audio specialists), designers, programmers and script writers and these are often supplemented by voice actors, regional marketing experts, translators and other cultural localisation specialists.
Video games interact with other forms of media, for example, inspiring film, literature, music and television.
The group says 33 million people play video games in the UK.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: “The UK’s Games Tax Relief supports cultural products, is necessary and proportionate in design, and it achieves these results without distorting trade and competition within the EU. The EU Commission should now seize the day and approve the introduction of the UK’s Games Tax Relief.”
Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said: “The culturally British elements of video games are often eliminated from games that are developed in the UK in favour of international or Americanised themes.
"GTR can reduce this tendency by promoting culturally British video games. Firstly, GTR will enable more studios to self-publish and develop British themes in their games.
"Secondly, GTR will reduce the cost of games development in the UK and so could encourage global publishers to take more of a risk on developing games with a British personality. TIGA strongly recommends that the EU Commission approves the introduction of GTR in the UK as soon as possible.”