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UK Government reveals tax breaks for video game industry

The UK Government today announced that it intends to introduce tax relief for the UK video games industry, as it aims to make Britain "Europe's technology centre."
The UK Government today announced that it intends to introduce tax relief for the UK video games industry, as it aims to make Britain "Europe's technology centre." The Labour Government had previously said that it would introduce a Games Tax Relief back in March 2010 -- however, the coalition Government then dropped the initiative in June 2010. UK trade group TIGA suggested soon afterwards that if the Government did not support tax relief for the video games industry, then it may lead to a 24 percent headcount drop over the next five years. It then proposed new tax break measures earlier this year that it said would support the growth of local developers and publishers. Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, called the move a "brilliant decision" and "a decisive victory" for the video games industry. “Tax relief for the video games sector will increase employment, innovation and investment in the UK video games industry," he continued. "Our research shows that Games Tax Relief should generate and safeguard: 4,661 direct and indirect jobs; £188 million ($297.9 million) in investment expenditure by studios; increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283 million ($448.4 million); generate £172 million ($272.6 million) in new and protected tax receipts to HM Treasury, and could cost just £96 million ($152.1 million) over five years." Numerous high-profile names in the games industry expressed their delight at the news, including executives from Rebellion, Jagex, Denki, Bossa Studios, Thumbstar Games, Blitz Games Studios, Crytek, nDreams, Relentless and Double Eleven. Colin Anderson, MD at Denki, said that the proposed tax relief will "stimulate much needed investment and innovation" in the UK video games industry, while Crytek MD Karl Hilton said the move will "promote the creation of high skilled jobs, enhance investment and stimulate an export focussed industry."

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