Tax breaks for the games industry announced in 2012 Budget
It's budget day, and, as usual, it's bad news for smokers and alcoholics, but the UK games industry is one of this year's winners.
After a long wait, the tax credit already available to filmmakers has now been extended to game developers, as well as the animation industry and those producing high-end television.
Following years of lobbying from the games industry, and two years after the coalition described tax relief for the games industry as "poorly targeted", Chancellor George Osborne now says he wants to position the UK as Europe's technology centre.
Ian Livingstone, one of the people behind the Tomb Raider series and co-author of last year's Video Games and Visual Effects Skills Review, said the tax break sends "a very positive message to the world for the UK to claim it is the best place to develop games and digital content."
"The UK is arguably the most creative nation in the world, including its world-class games designers," he added.
Games publisher Eidos, where Livingstone is president and CEO, released this statement:
"The government's recent announcement on computer science being taught in schools, coupled with today's introduction of a competitive tax regime regarding production, helps UK studios to compete internationally on a level playing field. The incentives are now there to encourage inward investment, job creation and for the UK games industry to reclaim its position as a world leader in games production."
The news has also been welcomed by Richard Wilson (chief executive of industry trade body TIGA). Describing the move as "a brilliant decision...terrific news for the UK video games industry," he highlighted TIGA's role in securing the tax break. You can read his full statement here.
The 2012 budget also sets out plans to invest an additional £100 million in the UK's broadband infrastructure, with ultrafast broadband coverage for 1.7 million homes and 200,000 businesses by 2015.
These are definitely steps in the right direction, but has the Government gone far enough if it really wants the UK to be Europe's tech capital?
Let us know what you think!