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Games trade group blasts budget

Failed to back the games industry, apparently

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The head of games developer trade organisation Tiga has slammed the government’s latest budget, labelling it a missed opportunity to support the UK’s gaming industry.

Richard Wilson, Tiga’s CEO, said it’s “disappointing that while Alistair Darling plans to spend £671bn over the coming financial year, he could not find the £150m over five years to invest in the tax break for games production”.

In the days preceding the budget’s announcement, Wilson called for the government to introduce a 20 per cent tax break on games production in the UK.

Wilson’s since labelled videogames as a “growing sector”, adding that the UK’s own games development sector is “world-beating”.

But the latest budget may not be all bad news for the UK gaming industry. It contained a £750m Strategic Investment Fund, of which £50m will go to the Technology Strategy Board (TIB) and a further £10m to the UK Trade and Investment (UKT&I) body.

TIB helps promote “technology-enabled innovation” across the UK, while UKT&I helps local firms compete in international markets and assists overseas businesses to bring high-quality investment to the UK.

These two groups, Wilson said, have already benefited some UK game developers. The allocation of yet further funds can then only be a good thing.

“We hope that some of this additional money for UKT&I will be made available to help even more games businesses attend overseas trade shows in the future,” Wilson said. ®

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