LONDON, January 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
TIGA publishes 2015 Manifesto following launch event at the House of Commons
TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers, and trade association for the UK videogames industry has published its vision for the future of the UK videogame industry in its 2015 Manifesto, detailing how our industry should progress over the next five years, through to 2020.
The announcement follows last night's launch of the TIGA 2015 Manifesto at the House of Commons, attended by MPs, the media, TIGA members and a wide range of representatives from the games industry.
Over the next five years, TIGA wants to see the following progress made in the UK videogames sector:
- a decline in the current 30 per cent business mortality rate and rising numbers of sustainable studios;
- an increase in the overall studio population from the 620 businesses that existed in Q1 2014;
- consistent increases in employment and investment - driven by Games Tax Relief - with over 2,000 new studio jobs, a £220 million increase in investment from games development companies and regional clusters contributing to the industry's growth; an increase in the production of culturally British video games;
- a rise in the number of studios with 15 or more staff so that there are more businesses in the UK capable of handling larger projects and investments from global publishers; access to finance become less of a challenge;
- the brain drain of talented staff overseas diminish as a problem, and;
- the UK become a globally recognised centre for games education and continuous professional development in the sector's workforce.
TIGA's manifesto, 20/20 Vision: Strengthening the UK Games Industry, will help realise this vision.
Summary of TIGA's Manifesto and proposals:
The manifesto has four key strategic themes:
- power up small firms;
- build world winning games businesses;
- promote games clusters to boost regional growth; and
- enhance skills and education, promote measured migration.
TIGA's proposals to achieve these objectives include the following:
- A Prototype Fund should be introduced to enable more start-up studios to access finance and develop new IP.
- A Creative Content Fund (CCF) should be established to enable more studios to co-fund new content development and IP generation.
- UKTI should help more games businesses to export and aggressively market the UK to attract inward investment. In 2013/14 just 1.4 percent (£220,100) of total UKTI Trade Assistance Programme funding was allocated to the video games sector. Additionally just 0.18 per cent (£25,000) of total UKTI Events and Missions spending was assigned to the video games sector.
- 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 to boost start-ups, boost universities and boost regional growth.
- A Training Tax Relief (TTR) should be introduced for SMEs. This would enable SMEs to offset expenditure on training against corporation tax.
Please see the notes to editors section for the full list of TIGA's manifesto proposals, which can also be viewed and shared via this online PDF.
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA comments:
"TIGA stands for developers, digital publishers and the wider video games industry. TIGA's vision for 2020 and the proposals contained in our manifesto will build up the strength, stamina, and sustainability of UK games businesses. This in turn will strengthen the UK games industry and the wider economy. We look forward to working with games businesses, education providers and all political parties in driving the UK games industry forward over the next five years."
Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO & Creative Director, Rebellion, said:
"TIGA's manifesto sets out a clear, concise and cogent agenda for powering the UK video games forward.
"Our proposals are borne from a deep understanding of the challenges games developers, digital publishers and service and education providers face in today's global, digital videogames market. The achievement of the goals set out in this manifesto will strengthen our industry for years to come."
Jim McGovern MP, added:
"I am delighted that TIGA has prepared this well considered manifesto. TIGA's manifesto contains a series of well thought out proposals, which will receive serious consideration by many politicians and policy makers and it will help to influence the policy debate concerning the creative industries.
"I look forward to working with TIGA in the future to help advance this important industry."
Justin Tomlinson MP, said:
"This manifesto contains many sound ideas that I have discussed while working closely with TIGA in my capacity as Chair of the Video Games All Party Parliamentary Group. In that time, TIGA has done a consistently good job of spreading awareness of this vital industry at Westminster and elevating the industry's standing in Whitehall.
"The ideas in this manifesto should be taken seriously as an important contribution to public policy debate. The United Kingdom is a world centre of excellence in video game innovation and we need to make sure that we continue to attract investment to these shores so that Britain remains in the lead. I congratulate TIGA on devising a comprehensive, credible and coherent policy agenda for the UK games industry."
Damian Collins MP added:
"In my role as an MP I come across many trade associations. TIGA is distinctive in its focus, professionalism, and tenacity.
"TIGA's is a voice which deserves to be heard. I welcome the publication of this manifesto as one which I believe will shape the debate about how to sustain growth in the video games and creative industries in the years to come."
Luciana Berger MP, said:
"I am pleased that TIGA has developed this comprehensive set of policy proposals to help the UK games industry to build on the success of Games Tax Relief. This is an important contribution as all political parties consider their manifestos for the general election."
Stephen Timms MP, added:
"I know from my time as a Minister in the Treasury what a good track record TIGA has in making well considered submissions to Government and just how persuasive TIGA's arguments can be. That is why the proposals in this manifesto deserve serious consideration by all those formulating policy proposals in advance of the 2015 General Election.
"The proposals in this manifesto will need to be weighed carefully by the Government which takes over in 2015."
Chris White MP, said:
"I commend the proposals contained within this manifesto and wholeheartedly agree that these ideas will stimulate the thinking and consideration of all MPs with an interest in the UK's videogames industry and those responsible for the well-being of our national economy.
"As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Video Games Industry, I look forward to working with TIGA towards the delivery of these proposals wherever possible, with the shared goal and vision of a stronger games industry in 2015 and beyond."
John Whittingdale OBE MP, added:
"The CMS Select Committee has consistently championed the Creative Industries for their huge importance to our economy and the creation of jobs. One of the key contributors is the Video Games Industry and TIGA continues to do a great job in highlighting this and campaigning for more support. This manifesto contains a number of excellent proposals which I hope all the Parties will consider them seriously."
Notes to editors
TIGA's 2015 Manifesto proposals in detail:
STRATEGIC THEME 1: POWER UP SMALL FIRMS
A. Prototype funding should be made available to enable start-up studios to access finance and develop new IP.
B. A Creative Content Fund (CCF) should be established in order to:
- encourage new studio formation
- stimulate creativity
- co-fund new content development and IP generation.
C. National Lottery funding could be made available to provide funds for games development, including prototype funding and the CCF.
STRATEGIC THEME 2: BUILD WORLD-WINNING GAMES BUSINESSES
D. An 'Export Tax Relief' should be introduced to incentivise more firms to export, thereby promoting export-led economic growth.
An Export Tax Relief is currently prohibited under EU law. However, the primacy of UK domestic fiscal policy can be seen in the UK's ability to introduce the Patent Box, and retain the Patent Box even when some other EU member states sought to have it abolished because they deemed it to be unfair. Interestingly, Germany provides drawbacks on local VAT tax paid on exported products. The UK Government could therefore explore the case for negotiating and securing an Export Tax Relief.
E. Awareness of UKTI's offering should be increased to ensure that more SMEs access its export services.
UKTI should enable more UK video games businesses to maximise their export potential: In 2013/14 just 1.4 percent (£220,100) of total UKTI Trade Assistance Programme funding was allocated to the video games sector.
Additionally, just 0.18 per cent (£25,000) of total UKTI Events and Missions spending was assigned to the video games sector.
F. The UK should be aggressively marketed as an attractive location for inward investment for the games industry.
G. Video Games Tax Relief should be retained. During the course of the next Parliament the Government should carry out a cost benefit analysis of the merits of increasing the level of the Relief from 25 per cent to 30 per cent to stimulate further investment.
H. 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 competitive games.
I. The UK should encourage the development and provision of superfast broadband speeds that rival the best in the world.
J. Greater competition should be promoted in the business banking sector and new entrants encouraged to enter the market as the UK banking sector remains heavily concentrated.
K. PEGI, the European game content rating system, should end its punitive pricing policy. PEGI's current policy is to charge a developer a fee for content rating every time it launches a game on a different console platform, even if the content is exactly the same. Charging fees for the same content should be stopped to save developers' money.
L. The EU funding regime for video games should be reformed. Games should not be required to have a narrative component or a game genre in order to be eligible for EU funding via the Creative Europe programme. 'Serious' games should not receive preferential treatment under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme.
M. Policy makers should pursue a common global regulatory approach towards 'free to play' (F2P) games and in-app purchases (IAPs) based on the Office of Fair Trading's (now Competition and Markets Authority) Principles for Online and App-based Games. This will enable UK games businesses to compete on a level playing field and ensure the effective protection of UK consumers.
STRATEGIC THEME 3: PROMOTE GAMES CLUSTERS TO BOOST REGIONAL GROWTH
N. 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 enable more successful start-ups (the incubators would support both student and non-student enterprises).
O. High technology video games clusters should be promoted around the UK through the provision of more business incubators at designated regional universities (see proposal N), strengthening local industry and university links, building connections with finance providers and through the provision of business mentoring.
STRATEGIC THEME 4: ENHANCE SKILLS AND EDUCATION, PROMOTE MEASURED MIGRATION
Q. A pilot SME Training Tax Relief (TTR) should be introduced. 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.
R. Specialist roles should be added to the Shortage Occupation List (including, but not limited to):
- Game Analyst
- Senior Game Artist
- Brand Manager
- Senior Game Designer
- Localisation Manager
- Community Manager
- Senior Producer
- Engine Programmer
This will enable games businesses to address skill shortages in highly specialised roles.
S. The Post-Study Work Visa should be reinstated, initially for STEM and other priority area students, to enable UK businesses to hire the best available talent trained at UK higher education institutions.
The Post-Study Work Visa should allow non-EU students studying at UK universities to work at a UK business after graduation for a maximum of two years, and then apply for a more permanent work permit.
T. Policy makers should examine the case for increasing expenditure on higher education to ensure that UK tertiary education remains world leading.
U. Policy makers should examine the case for reducing tuition fees in priority undergraduate subject areas such as Mathematics.
V. The Skills Investment Fund should be maintained to enable UK games businesses to enhance skills in the games industry.
TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and trade association representing the UK videogame industry. We help developers and digital publishers build successful studios, network with the right people, save money and access professional business advice. We also have traditional publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.
TIGA is 90% funded by independent UK businesses. 80% of our board members are developers and/or from UK owned businesses, and 50% of our board are UK business owners themselves. Since 2010, TIGA has won 17 business awards.
TIGA focuses on three sets of activities:
- Political representation
- Media representation
- Business services
This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. It also means our members' voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video game trade media.
Get in touch:
- Tel: +44-(0)845-468-2330
- Email: [email protected]
- Web: http://www.tiga.org
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tigamovement
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TIGAMovement
- LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/tiga
For further information, you can also contact:
- Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: +44-07875-939-643, or email: [email protected]
- Drew Field, TIGA Communications Director on: +44-07720-643-344, or email [email protected]