Survey: Devs remain unsatisfied with European game dev tax breaks

Trends in developer opinion come to light as GDC Europe officials share data on how GDC Europe State of the Industry Survey respondents feel about tax incentives for game development in Europe.

In order to understand the state of the European game industry ahead of GDC Europe, Game Developers Conference officials surveyed over 250 European games industry professionals who have attended GDC shows, read, or plan to attend GDC Europe 2015 this August.

Once again, their responses and opinions shed light on some fascinating trends, offering a European perspective on a wide variety of issues.

Yesterday, we shared some highlights from the survey that suggest European game makers are migrating away from mobile and towards PC as the contemporary home consoles gain traction. They also seem to be confident that VR game development is a long-term, sustainable business, though few are currently developing VR games.

Today, we dig even deeper into the survey results and share some data on how respondents feel about the perennially popular topic of tax incentives for game development in Europe.

Few European developers are happy with the tax breaks for game development in their home country

Just 12 percent of survey respondents said they were happy with their country’s domestic game development tax incentives, a slight decrease from the 13 percent reported last year. Once again, 34 percent of survey respondents reported they were unhappy with their country’s video game tax breaks, while 52 percent said they had neutral feelings on the issue.

Far and away, European developers still think the U.K. is the best example of tax breaks done right

The majority (40 percent) of survey respondents say the United Kingdom currently offers the best tax breaks for game development, a slight drop from the 47 percent who said so last year. 

Sweden and Finland came in as distant second and third, with 12 percent and 11 percent of respondents (respectively) naming them the best countries in Europe when it comes to tax incentives for game makers. Of course, it's important to note that not all of the countries voted for have comprehensive tax breaks; some were considered more 'tax-friendly' than others by survey respondents.

"Lack of investment in the [European] games industry makes it 'lag behind' the one found in the United States," wrote one survey respondent. 

"I think there should be more incentives across all countries to encourage game development," opined another. "There are people with real talent and great ideas across the entire world, yet most of the successful games seem to only come from a small handful of countries."

Further discussion about the state of European game development will take place at GDC Europe in August, which you can still register for now at the discounted Early Bird rate.

[Organized by UBM Tech Game Network, GDC Europe 2015 -- now in its seventh year in Cologne -- will run Monday through Tuesday, August 3rd-4th at the Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany, co-located with Europe's biggest video game trade and public show gamescom.]

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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