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UK tax relief: games that promote British culture more likely to qualify

Friday, 5th October 2012 10:22 GMT By Dave Cook

Back in March, the UK government budget included plans to finally grant tax relief to UK game developers. An official document for the initiative has appeared online, including a test that developers need to pass to qualify – such as having British lead characters, showing off British culture and having a percentage of British staff at studios. It’s a tight criteria, and is bound to make some studios unhappy.

The test is geared towards Britishness. For example, making games set in fictional worlds makes a studio less likely to get Government support.

So British-made RPG series Fable would get less points for being set in Albion, instead of real-world Britain, even though the studio is based in the UK, while something like British-made Forza Horizon would have a slightly harder time because it’s set in the US.

It’s a little backwards. Check out the test below, and bear in mind that games need to score 16 out of 30 points to qualify.





What do you think of the above criteria? Is forcing studios to promote British culture in order to get tax relief a step backwards? Let us know below.

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9 Comments

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  1. Kloudrunner

    Definatley a step backwards. Well two steps forward one step back. Progress is being made for sure but is this what all country’s who offer tax breaks do ? Canada and Ireland come to mind.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. X201

    “Forza Horizon simply wouldn’t stand a chance according to this test because it’s set in the US.”

    I think you’re wrong Dave.

    This is a very easy test to pass, by my reckoning Forza Horizon would easily score 14 points, with the other two points needed, coming from the financial question.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Demigod

    Ah another of the governments commitments they are doing everything they can to get out of. Yes here are tax breaks! now see those hoops just try and jump through them.

    Ok 16 points isn’t THAT hard to pass but some of the requirements are silly do they even define what British culture is? It sure changes a lot over time and place so you could argue pretty much anything is british culture. We sure have appropriated everyone else’s as well as made our own.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Kloudrunner

    I was curious if a sci fi themed game would pass and just did the test and without a doubt it would. I was up to 10 alone in section A.

    The deck appears to be stacked against developers using the system but really I think it will come down to those clever enough to make it work for them.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    You only get tax breaks in the UK if your company is already insanely profitable, tax breaks to help keep an industry viable? That would make too much sense. No, instead we’ll let companies like Vodafone save hundreds of millions on their tax bills.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. polygem

    so does ZOMBI U qualify???

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Detale

    I’m curious whether other creative industries (like film) are subject to similar criteria or not?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. chic

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Da Man

    Stupid system, culture and country.

    I want artistic female males in a futuristic story driven Single Player social game.

    Anything can be culture.

    #9 2 years ago