Study: UK devs more concerned by economy than tax breaks


According to a new study by E-skills UK, the sector skills council for business and information technology, UK developers are more concerned by the general state of the economy than Games Tax Relief.

The report, passed to Develop, polled 80 British studios and asked them to rate a list of issues on a scale of zero (no concern) to three (priority concern). The respondents rated the general health of the economy at an average of 1.8, ahead of exchange rate fluctuations on 1.5.

Games Tax Relief was rated 1.4, ranked joint third with the availability of skilled programmers and access to credit from the newly risk-averse UK banking industry. However, 23 per cent of respondents rated Games Tax Relief a priority concern, suggesting that it is of wildly fluctuating importance to different studios.

While the study shows that UK developers are more concerned by wider economic issues than one which only affects the game industry, TIGA, the trade association that represents them, said the report further highlighted the urgent need for targeted tax relief for the game industry. The study also polled 220 studios based in France, Canada and the USA and found that those that received governmental support were better positioned for growth.

"This report states that studios in receipt of public support in Canada are receiving support equivalent to 23 per cent of their turnover," said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson. "The UK games development sector is creative, innovative and talented. The potential for rapid growth exists.

"It's time for UK policy makers to support the UK game development sector through a tax break for games production, enhanced R&D tax credits and a creative content fund."

All three of the UK's main political parties backed Games Tax Relief in the run-up to last year's general election, but chancellor George Osborne dismissed the proposed measure as "poorly targeted" soon after the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition assumed power.

Osborne did, however, announce a 200 per cent increase in R&D tax credits, alongside a cut in corporation tax, measures which benefit UK businesses across the board as opposed to a single industry.