It would seem that the UK is finally realizing that the future may just be in video games. Today, the nation’s government announced that significant tax breaks are on the way for companies in the video game industry. The move is expected to generate or protect thousands of jobs while also creating significant revenue.
“Tax relief for the video games sector will increase employment, innovation and investment in the UK video games industry,” said Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA. “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.”
The tax breaks were originally discussed and promised in 2010, but global economic problems put the issue on the back burner. The news also comes on the heels of the French government announcing the Le Game initiative, which was designed to promote game development and publishing in France. History has taught us that the French and British are constantly trying to one-up each other, so we take this latest move as yet another instance of the UK blowing raspberries and making annoying faces at the French. We fully expect cows to be flung from castle walls in retribution.