UKIE, The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment (pronounced YOU-KEY, and formerly known as ELSPA), has once again called for tax credits for UK games businesses to be introduced as soon as possible.
The British Film Institute (BFI) released new statistics today, showing that the new High-end Television Tax Relief has delivered over £233 million into the UK economy in its first nine months. UKIE is using this as evidence of that the UK games industry would benefit in much the same way. By cutting the amount of tax British games businesses pay, companies such as Team 17 and Lionhead Studios would be able to afford bigger teams for better games, delivering better products which feed more money back into the British economy.
Andy Payne, chair of UKIE, gave the following statement:
“Seeing the hard financial evidence that the production tax credits have worked for high end TV, and in such a short space of time, proves that the digital creative industries can drive exports, deliver growth and high value jobs as well as attract considerable inward investment.
“This will play a significant part in increasing the UK’s productivity which is so badly needed. The games industry looks forward to the games production tax credits coming into force very soon and having a very positive effect for the UK games industry and the creative industries for UKPLC.”
UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist also commented, saying: “These figures show the massive benefits that tax credits could bring to the UK games industry, opening the door for big inward investment and helping small businesses to scale up. They would help the creative talent in this country to produce more and compete in a global marketplace with uniquely British or European flavored games.”
You can view the full BFI figures here, but be warned that it’s pretty heavy on the numbers.
UKIE is “the only trade body for the UKs interactive entertainment industry”, and aims to “support, grow and promote” all videogame development in the UK to the rest of the world, showing the opportunities that Britain have to offer.
In addition, they are responsible for market analyses and handle grants for UK companies to exhibit at key international expos such as Gamescom and GDC. Last year they brought over 40 UK games businesses to Gamescom alone, saving them over £50,000 each. They say that they will be focusing on working with the government to ensure the games industry enjoys the same investment benefits as other industries.
On top of all this, they regularly tackle issues such as age ratings and protecting British IPs. They were responsible for making games a part of the government’s global multi-million pound promotional GREAT campaign, and invested in the new government backed Creative Industries website, promoting British games overseas. If you are interested in the events UKIE has to offer, you can find their official calendar here.