LONDON, March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers, and the trade association representing the video games industry, called today for the introduction of a Creative Content Fund to improve studios' access to finance, to promote studio growth and to drive the industry forward. TIGA's proposal for a Creative Content Fund would entail grants or loans being made available to games businesses on a pound for pound, matched funding basis, up to a maximum of £200,000. TIGA made the comments to coincide with its publication Advancing to the Next Level: TIGA's Budget Submissions (TIGA, 2016).
Chris White MP, a leading Parliamentarian and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Video Games in the Westminster Parliament, commented on TIGA's proposals:
"I support TIGA's call for further support to be provided to the video games sector and know, through my role as Chair of the Video Games All-Party Group, how significant its contribution is to the UK economy. Ensuring that the industry is able to build on its progress in recent years is vital and I believe that the introduction of a Creative Content Fund would have a positive impact in this respect."
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
"52 per cent of games studios in a recent TIGA survey said that access to finance is the biggest obstacle holding back their business. TIGA's proposal for a carefully constructed Creative Content Fund would improve developers' access to finance, stimulate original IP generation, assist in the retention of IP by developers and promote studio growth. It would enhance the independence and commercial viability of games developers and strengthen the UK video games industry. The matched funding criteria would help to drive investment and job growth.
"An analogous scheme in Finland operated by the agency Tekes has provided financial support to over 20 per cent of the entire industry's studio population. The programme has been highly successful. Depending on how it is calculated, for every euro invested in the games industry by Tekes, a return ranging from nine to 26 euros has been generated for the Finnish tax payer."
Jason Kingsley OBE TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
"TIGA's proposals for the 2016 Budget include nine ideas for strengthening the UK video games industry. TIGA's policy proposals include suggestions for improving access to finance, enhancing skills and training and promoting regional growth. In particular, TIGA hopes that the Government will give particular consideration to our ideas for improving access to capital."
TIGA's publication Advancing to the Next Level: TIGA's Budget Submissions, makes nine key proposals:
- A Creative Content Fund (CCF) should be established in order to improve studios' access to finance, stimulate new content development and IP generation. The CCF could make grants or loans available to games businesses on a pound for pound, matched funding basis. The CCF could be financed via the National Lottery or via Grant-in-Aid money from the Government. The CCF could be managed by the British Film Institute, or by Innovate UK, or by Creative England or by The UK Games Talent and Finance Community Interest Company.
2. The Government should carry out a cost benefit analysis of the merits of enhancing Video Games Tax Relief in order to stimulate further investment. For example, the £1 million limit on
subcontracting could be lifted. A Triple A game could involve $7 million in outsourcing by the time of its first release. Additional outsourcing work follows with content updates under the games as
a service model. Increasing the outsourcing limit would not only help large games businesses. It could also benefit smaller UK games businesses involved in the supply chain and help to build up
their skills, talent and capacity.
3. The amount of money that a company can raise via SEIS investment should be increased from £150,000 to £200,000 per annum to reflect the rise in development budgets required to make internationally
4. Regional/National Games Development Incubators should be established at a university or at a consortium of universities in each of the English regions and in each of the nations within the UK to
boost start-ups, universities and regional growth.
5. Specialist roles should be added to the Shortage Occupation List (including, but not limited to, Game Analyst, Senior Game Artist, Senior Game Designer, Senior Producer, and Engine Programmer). This
will enable games businesses to address skill shortages in highly specialised roles.
6. The Government should provide or promote commercial advice and investor readiness programmes to games developers to maximise their prospects of commercial success.
7. A pilot Training Tax Relief should be introduced for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). TTR would operate in a similar way to the existing R&D tax credits and would enable SMEs to offset
expenditure on training, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for staff and education outreach activities against corporation tax.
8. The Government should consider allowing the proceeds of the Training Levy to be available to fund a variety of good quality courses and not solely apprenticeships.
9. UKTI should enable more UK video games businesses to maximise their export potential.
The Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will present his Budget on March 16th 2016.
TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. We achieve this by campaigning for the industry in the corridors of power, championing the industry in the media and helping our members commercially.
TIGA is intent on building an enduring organisation which continually improves; a business that will make a significant impact on the games industry and so benefit our membership and the wider economy. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards, an achievement which reflects TIGA's drive for improvement and to meet best practice.
For more information visit: http://www.tiga.org
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