MCV is carrying a fairly large interview with the UK’s Minister for Culture, Communication and the Creative Industries, Ed Vaisey following last week’s announcement of tax breaks for the video games sector.
Mr Vaisey reveals himself as a fan of the games sector and highlighted his hope for more collaboration between the games industry and education…
Last week – after a four year journey – tax relief for UK games studios was confirmed.
The UK games industry has long campaigned for tax relief for video games to help compete with the likes of Canada, which has been securing investment and attracting British talent with its generous financial deals.
And in 2010 the Labour Government agreed to support UK studios with tax incentives.
However, shortly after the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats took power and cancelled the plans, dubbing the relief as ‘poorly targeted’
But by 2012, the Coalition Government re-introduced them again, this time to support not just games but also the high-end TV and animation industries, too.
Despite support from the UK Government, the tax breaks were delayed in 2013 as the European Commission insisted it needed proof the tax relief for games was needed. And last week, finally, the EC has received the proof it needed.
“It’s been a long hard journey, and I can’t quite believe it’s actually happened,” said Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, who has played a key role in working with games to secure the tax breaks.
Here, in an exclusive interview with MCV, Vaizey discusses what the tax relief can do for games businesses, other things the Government will do to support small studios and what he hopes to see from developers to ensure the games industry in Britain remains world class.
Can it bring in £188m in extra revenue for the UK games industry like TIGA predicts?
I haven’t seen the details of the estimate, but the key point is that we have seen how successful the film tax credit has been in terms of bringing massive investment into the UK film industry. We have seen in a year the animation tax credit effectively stop the animation industry leaving the UK, and it has gone further in making it start to really grow.
And it’s the same with high-end TV drama, where a number of productions may well have left the UK – like Game of Thrones – but now they are staying but others are coming in. There’s two reasons for this. There is a straightforward commercial calculation: Can I get my game made more cheaply somewhere else? But there is also a confidence measure. And I think getting the tax credit through just shows we are serious about supporting the games industry. I think there is a psychological element here if you like, which is going to be massive.
You can (and should) read the entire article on the MCV website.