As a tax break from game developers gets scrapped from the UK budget -- a major blow to the region's game developers -- Activision is showing support by joining TIGA, the UK industry's trade body.
The publisher is headquartered in Santa Monica, but enjoys an enormous global footprint; it owns two studios in the UK, Project Gotham Racing
developer Bizarre Creations, and DJ Hero
house FreeStyleGames. Activision specifically noted it was joining TIGA in support of the group's lobby for tax relief.
"The UK has one of the most talented and creative workforces anywhere in the industry," said Activision EVP and chief public policy officer George Rose, suggesting tax relief in the UK would be a "game changer" that would attract investors to the region's industry, create jobs and drive economic growth.
"However, if Games Tax Relief is not introduced then the UK will remain at a real disadvantage in comparison to other territories as a location for inward investment," he warned. "Without Games Tax Relief the UK games industry will not fulfill its potential.”
A measure of tax relief for the UK games industry was widely anticipated after both UK political parties promised their support, and the election of "game-friendly" Ed Vaizey
as Minister of Culture seemed to pave the way. But the latest budget scrapped the tax breaks
, citing wider economic stress -- the government has claimed it will save £190 million
($283.54 million) by eliminating developer tax relief.
TIGA, a longtime and vocal public lobbyist on behalf of, among other industry interests, the tax breaks in the UK, has pledged to continue pursuing the measures, and says that the support of a publisher on the scale of Activision Blizzard will help. TIGA CEO Richard Wilson says he and Activision Publishing senior VP Brian Ward have already begun meeting together with the UK's MPs to press the issue.
"Our message is simple: back Games Tax Relief and benefit from more investment and more jobs in a high technology, export oriented industry, or risk investment drifting away to other, more forward-thinking countries," he says.