A pre-Budget boost for one of the creative industry’s most vibrant sectors — gaming — has been welcomed.

On behalf of both games developers and digital publishers, TIGA said it backed a re-notification of video games tax relief to the European Commission.

It means state aid clearance of the relief, introduced in 2014, has been extended from April 2018 to April 2023.

“[The] announcement by the EU Commission is excellent news, not just for the video games industry but also for the wider economy,” said TIGA’s Richard Wilson.

“[The] relief will continue to promote investment, job creation and business growth in our high technology, high skills, export focused industry.”

He says the relief continues to be justified on three grounds. Firstly, because it allows the UK video games industry to compete “on a more level playing field” with overseas rivals, who benefit from similar forms of relief.

Secondly, the relief promotes the production of culturally British video games. And thirdly, it encourages economic growth.

In fact, TIGA says in the three years before it was announced, the UK’s development headcount declined on average by 3.6% each year, whereas in the four years after the announcement, it grew on average by 7.1% each year.

“With all the uncertainties around at the moment it’s comforting to have this major asset for the UK games industry confirmed for another five years,” reflected TIGA chairman Jason Kingsely.

“This will allow companies involved in the export-focused, highly-skilled and creative pursuit of making games, to plan well into the medium term. This should in turn, increase employment and bring more investment into the sector, and be very positive for the UK trade balance.”

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