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Osborne announces tax breaks for UK games industry

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 12:59 GMT By Johnny Cullen

UK chancellor George Osborne has just announced tax breaks for the UK games development industry as part of his ongoing budget.

“Today, we turn Britian into Europe’s technology centre. We will start with digital content,” Osborne said in his currently ongoing speech.

“The film tax credit, protected in our spending review, helps generate over a £1 billion of film production investment in the UK last year alone.

“Today, I’m announcing our intention to introduce similar schemes for the videogames, animation and high-end TV production industries.”

Osborne’s predecessor, Labour’s Alistair Darling, announced similar plans in 2010, but was thrown out by the Conservative in an emergency budget when the Tory/Lib Dem collation came to power a few months later.

No details have emerged as yet as to what the breaks will entail, however.

The breaks themselves will be introduced by April 2013, but are subject to approval from the State.

UK trade body TIGA has already reacted to the news.

“This is a brilliant decision by the Government and terrific news for the UK video games industry. It is also a decisive victory won by TIGA through audacity, determination and endurance,” said CEO Richard Wilson.

“Like a boxer knocked down by his opponent, we refused to accept defeat and kept getting back in the ring. This victory will benefit not just the UK games development and digital publishing sector but also the wider UK economy.”

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24 Comments

  1. Chino86

    Shocking stuff. The Conservatives have done something …. good!?

    Glad to hear it. Here’s hoping they don’t come with conditions…

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Don’t be fooled. This is great news, but George Osbourne is an insane person with no more right to live on God’s clean earth than a weasel.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Stardog

    Finally.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Deacon

    @2 I hear that!

    #4 3 years ago
  5. pudding908

    Could somebody please explain what this means for us consumers?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. dirigiblebill

    “George Osbourne is an insane person with no more right to live on God’s clean earth than a weasel.”

    Bit of a sideswipe at the poor old weasel community, there.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Robbins

    How @2 how dare you compare him with a weasel, weasels have necks he’s more of an inbred closet child of the aristocracy.

    But this is good

    #7 3 years ago
  8. GrimRita

    Give the man some credit. If those arse holes at Labour did this, that bankers bonus tax would probably be wheeled out AGAIN to pay for everything they want to do.Bunch of tits.

    @5 – Its about investing in jobs. The UK had a strong development scene but most of those jobs have gone abroad. However, the UK is now setting up smart phone developers across the UK and it needs to have some kind of support.

    After all, the games industry did bring in more than film production, which have enjoyed some tax relief for some time. Level playing field and its about time

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Chino86

    @2 As I say, will be interesting to see if they are true tax breaks for all companies or just little faux ones.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Johnny Cullen

    Bit more in there now. It’s due to be introduced by next April subject to state approval.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. KaRmAChAnG

    Great news but I’m gonna stay dubious. Agreeing with Pat about Georgie O being insane.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Sam Clay

    Huzzah! Finally, we’ll be back on the map.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. silkvg247

    Will this affect me? (indie dev, working part time)

    #13 3 years ago
  14. absolutezero

    Tax breaks for videogames!

    Fucking over the NHS!

    BRITAIN!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Golden

    @14 Bloody right.

    As of April we are losing £100 per month from child tax credit and I’ll be paying an extra £50 per month towards my NHS pension (of which I still have another 32 years to pay). So my family is £150 worse off per month even before we get to fuel prices and the general increase in the cost of living.

    As much as I love gaming I also like feeding my family or trying not to have an increasing negative bank balance each month.

    To say I’m angry is a gross understatement.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Zarckan

    @15 if you are losing Child Tax Credits, then it is because you are already earning over £50k it that’s the case you have nothing to complain about. Get a grip

    He changed the Child Tax Credits from a HOUSEHOLD income of £50k to an individuals income of over £50k

    #16 3 years ago
  17. freedoms_stain

    @5, nothing. It’s about the government realising too late that other countries have built successful games industries by doing similar things years ago.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Golden

    @16. We are a single income family not a joint income family so I certainly dont earn 50K. After tax and deductions the family income is £24000 pretty much on the nose. So thank you for the advice to get a grip. Also I believe you are confusing child benefit and child tax credit.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. sg1974

    To those launching attacks on Osborne’s record as Chancellor ask yourselves these questions. Did you attack Gordon “I’ve abolished the laws of economics” Brown when he was spending billions we didn’t have, inflating a massive property bubble, encouraging people to take on as much debt as they could accumulate, raiding £100 billion from private pension funds, raising the state pension by the smallest amount ever, saddling hospitals with billions in PFI debt (so some now spend more on debt payments than on patient care), scrapping the 10p tax rate (making the working poor poorer) and reducing capital gains tax (so millionaires and billionaires could pay 20p in the pound instead of 40p)? Did you react with disgust when Liam Byrne, Labour’s outgoing Chief Secretary to the Treasury, left a note for his coalition successor joking “sorry … there’s no money left”? He knew massive cuts and an age of forced austerity were coming, and he thought it was funny. Did you react with outrage when billions were wasted on massive projects both not required and doomed to fail (NHS IT, FiRe Control to name just two totalling over £12 billion at conservative estimates).

    As for the 50p tax rate, if Labour think it so important why did it take them 13 years and six weeks before an election they expected to lose to come up with the idea – and then delay its introduction until AFTER that election? The 50p rate was never about economics, it is about politics: a toxic gift for the coalition which is working a TREAT.

    Osborne’s not perfect, but he’s a damned sight better than the economically-illiterate morons who drove our country head first into a brick wall. No Chancellor in modern times has faced a challenge like this.

    As a man with a small family I can empathise with the likes of Golden. But I blame the man who caused this mess, not the man trying to sort it out. I want our bills settled now by the generation that ran them up, not left for my children to pay off.

    /rant

    #19 3 years ago
  20. brotherhoodofthewolf

    @19
    RIGHT. ON.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. freedoms_stain

    @19, I don’t really blame George Osborne or Gordon Brown exclusively for the state of the nations financials.

    The Labour Government made inept decisions, no denying it, but I personally question the Government’s motives for its fiscal policy and decisions. Are they in the best interest of the country? Or are they in the best interest of their rich buddies and financial backers? I seriously, seriously question that.

    Regardless, the true culprit is the electoral system that allows minority Governments to make majority decisions.

    Oh, and this nation elected to keep that system guaranteeing at least another generation of unfair governments. Bravo.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. brotherhoodofthewolf

    @21 I think the root cause is that money is fiat currency and can be magicked out of thin air, when really you need to produce something first in order to get paid afterward

    #22 3 years ago
  23. CPC_RedDawn

    Can all of you ignorant, money grabbing, gold digging bastards please shut the f*ck up.

    Complaining you are so much worse off than everyone else. Have you not forgotten this country and other have been at war with “terror” for over TEN years now (for the most part in two different countries).

    And you lot blindly blame other things for the downfall of the economy… Iraq alone cost the USA over 3 TRILLION DOLLARS!!! What do you think it cost us!???

    There are people out there fighting for their countries and for what? Why should we be the protectors of the world. We should be focusing on our own country first and then worry about the others. Today alone SIX peoples families were torn apart because of the stupidity of our government.

    Have some god damn respect for your selves and stop being so ignorant, self obsessed, we are in this mess together.

    @ Golden, at least you have a job with a good salary, and you aren’t one of the millions like me also that have lost their job and cant feed themselves let alone their kids. At least you house is not being repossessed and your not being forced to sleep in a car or on a park bench. Or even worse still your not getting shot at or blown up at 19 years of age just because some tells you to.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. freedoms_stain

    @23, it cost us 20 billion as of 2010, granted that sounds like a lot of money, but over 10 years and in comparison to the national budget it’s not really, so if you want to blame our economic woes on the wars in the Middle East I think you’d be quite ignorant to do so.

    #24 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]