Scottish videogames industry at a crossroads, says TIGA

Friday, 10 September 2010 15:56 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


TIGA has said the Scottish videogames industry is at a “cross roads” , and if it didn’t get some much needed tax breaks, the sector could decline.

According to research conducted by the trade body,  if Games Tax Relief was introduced the sector would grow, but at this point employment in the Scottish development sector has fallen 18 percent for the year thanks in part to Realtime Worlds going into administration.

Further research by TIGA showed Scotland has 46 games development businesses, which employ 650 people.  These businesses invest over £30 million per annum and contribute £67 million to UK GDP.

“The Scottish video games industry is export oriented, R&D focussed and provides high skilled employment – this is exactly the kind of sector that we need to invest in as part of a process to rebalance the UK economy,” said Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO.

“Our new research shows that the Scottish games industry contributes almost £67 million to UK Gross Domestic Product, employs 650 highly skilled developers in 46 games development businesses. This is a critically important digital industry which, with the right Government support, can be world beating.”

Previous TIGA research shows if Games Tax Relief was implemented, it could create or save 3,550 graduate levels jobs and secure £457 million in new and saved development expenditure and generate £415 million in new and saved tax receipts.

“The video game industry has been at the forefront of digital technologies and post-industrial business methods in Scotland and the UK as a whole for around two decades,” added Colin Anderson, TIGA board member and MD at Denki in Dundee. “In that time it has taught an entire generation of workers the skills our economy will be founded on in future.

“However, now the Scottish and UK video games industries are at a competitive disadvantage. Many of our competitors have tax breaks for games production. We do not. TIGA’s Games Tax Relief would give an incentive for investors to place projects and studios in Scotland and the UK.

“By abolishing Games Tax Relief the videogames industry in Scotland will find it harder than other areas to attract the talent and investment it requires to self-sustain commercial success.

“This will become more problematic as other more aggressive territories realise the potential of digital media and offer progressively more lucrative advantages to companies looking to base themselves in a particular area.”

Games Tax Relief could secure for Scotland a net 273 jobs, £37 million in investment and generate £33.7 million in tax revenues over five years.

According to TIGA, Games Tax Relief would enable companies to take more risks and create more new and original titles.

G’un robh math agad to all involved.