TIGA’s Manifesto 2024 calls on the next Government to enable UK games studios to seize a $190bn global opportunity and create 2,660 additional jobs

LONDON, May 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has today presented an ambitious 10-point 2024 Manifesto that outlines proposals that will enable the sector to achieve its potential and support economic growth across the UK.

Key elements include launching a new Independent Games Tax Credit, a new National Games Accelerator, a Video Games Investment Fund as well as a range of skills initiatives. Games Investor Consulting estimates that TIGA’s proposals could create 2,660 additional games development jobs by 2028.

The video games sector makes an important contribution to the UK economy:

  •  The industry employs over 25,000 highly skilled people;
  • The sector has over 1,800 studios and over 200 service businesses;
  • It adds nearly £3.7 billion to UK GDP;
  • 95% of studios are exporters.

2024 is proving to be challenging in many parts of our industry as businesses continue to adjust to the post-COVID environment.

The global market for video games is estimated to be worth $190 billion1. The next Government and Parliament can enable the UK video games industry to seize the opportunities in this growing market by promoting TIGA’s agenda.

TIGA’s 10 Manifesto Proposals 

   1. Create an Independent Games Tax Credit to boost production of UK independent games, and so reinforce VGEC

The next Government and Parliament should augment the existing Video Games Expenditure Credit (VGEC) with an Independent Games Tax Credit (IGTC). This would mirror the newly-announced Independent Film Tax Credit: games with production budgets (excluding marketing and distribution costs) of less than £15 million would be eligible to claim a credit of 53 per cent on 80 per cent of qualifying expenditure. Any projects over £15 million in total production costs would utilise the existing VGEC scheme and claim a 34 per cent rate of relief on 80 per cent of qualifying expenditure.

The introduction of an IGTC will enable the UK development sector to compete on a more level playing field. Canada, France, Ireland, Belgium, Australia, and at least 15 states in the USA offer tax reliefs for games production.

    2. Launch a National Games Accelerator (NGA) to enable more start-ups to scale-up 

The UK is a good place to start a studio but scaling up is difficult. The NGA would provide a 6-month programme to support early-stage companies (2-4 years old) to prepare prototypes, develop commercial models and attract investment through training (entrepreneurial, commercial, marketing, analytics and project management skills, business plan development and pitching). Approximately 140 staff from 35 companies would complete the NGA’s programme over 3.5 years.

   3. Maintain the level of support for the UK Games Talent and Finance CIC

Many studios find it difficult to raise finance. The UK Games Talent and Finance Community Interest Company helps to address this challenge via two funds. The UK Games Fund’s Prototype Fund provides grants of up to £25,000 and the Content Fund provides grants of up to £150,000. These schemes help studios to develop new IP, secure investment and grow.

   4. Introduce a Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF) to stimulate growth in the sector

The VGIF would provide loan funding of between £150,000 and £500,000 to games developers in the UK for 1 or a maximum of 2 games development projects per company. Up to 20 loans totalling £5 million would be disbursed each year. This would help to close a systemic gap in developers’ access to finance, create jobs, drive investment, encourage new studio formation and generate IP.

   5. Set up an Industrial Secondments Programme (ISP)

The ISP would enable up to 20 lecturers per annum to be seconded to games studios. This would enable lecturers to enhance their teaching skills and keep their practical knowledge of game development current.

   6. Back BTECs

Maintaining funding for BTECs and developing robust T-Levels for the games industry will bolster the supply of talented people available to work in the UK’s high skills video games sector. 

   7. Incentivise training

A Skills Investment Fund could be established to provide grant funding to SME games studios on a pound for pound matched funded basis. This would boost training and help to grow the industry.

  8. Reform the apprenticeship levy

The apprenticeship levy could be transformed into a general training levy to enable employers to spend the resources on any high-quality training programme.

  9. Operate a competitive visa and salary system for the recruitment of skilled workers

The UK should operate a competitive visa system for the recruitment of skilled overseas workers. This will enable studios to recruit highly skilled people from overseas cost effectively, seize new commercial opportunities, increase employment and expand their businesses more easily.

  10. Promote competition in the game engine and platform markets

The Government and the Competition and Markets Authority need to be alert to the dominance of big companies in the game engine and platform markets. Other things being equal, competition tends to encourage innovation, lower prices and promote better products and services.

The full details and impacts of each of the about proposals are outlined in the full TIGA Manifesto – Click here to download PDF.

TIGA’s Manifesto is based on new and recent primary research, surveys of TIGA members and the wider video games industry, together with numerous discussions with game developers.

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA, said:
“TIGA’s goal is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. The UK is already a leader for games development and employs the largest development workforce in Europe. 

“If the next Government and Parliament create an environment favourable to our sector, then the UK games development sector can win a growing share of the games development market. A successful video games industry will support high skill employment, regional games clusters and export growth. 

“TIGA’s manifesto sets out an agenda to enable our games development sector to achieve its potential, and increase its contribution to the UK economy. Our proposals relating to a new Independent Games Tax Credit, a National Games Accelerator and the Video Games Investment Fund alone could create 2,660 additional high skill games development jobs by 2028. We look forward to working with Government, Parliament and other stakeholders to drive our industry forward.”

Jason Kingsley CBE, CEO and Creative Director, Rebellion and TIGA Chairman, said: “In an era where technology and creativity converge, the video games industry stands as a beacon of innovation and economic vitality. The next Government and Parliament have a unique opportunity to propel this dynamic industry to even greater heights. By fostering an environment conducive to growth and innovation, we can ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of global game development. TIGA’s Manifesto presents a roadmap for achieving this ambitious goal, outlining ten measures aimed at nurturing the games development ecosystem, empowering entrepreneurs, and driving economic expansion.”

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP said: “I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the UK’s dynamic video games development sector, and TIGA’s tireless work to champion its growth, since I was a Minister, both in the Business department and the Treasury, supporting the proposal for a Video Games Tax Relief. I am delighted to see how the sector has flourished since the Relief was introduced. This Manifesto demonstrates TIGA’s ambition for the games development sector. The U.K. is already one of the most admired video games hubs in the world, attracting some of the biggest names in the sector to establish studios here to create games and franchises loved by players globally. The UK is also home to a multitude of highly creative SME studios. I applaud the contribution that the video games industry makes to the creative industries and to the wider economy, and I look forward to seeing the sector’s future achievements.”

Damian Collins MP said: “The UK video games industry has grown significantly over the last decade, thanks in part to TI GA’s successful campaign for Video Games Tax Relief. TIGA’s 2024 Manifesto sets out a comprehensive agenda covering the Video Games Expenditure Credit, access to finance and measures to enhance skills. I thank Dr Richard Wilson and TIGA for continuing to set the policy agenda for our video games development industry.”

Deidre Brock MP said: “The video games industry is a hugely important part of the UK’s creative sector, as well as providing great career opportunities for people across many different disciplines and skillsets. TIGA’s Manifesto outlines policies to grow the sector, addressing tax relief, finance and skills development. Policy makers should consider these ideas. It is vital that we continue to support our vibrant video games industry.”

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “The UK video games industry is an economic success story, contributing almost £3.7 billion to UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and supporting thousands of highly skilled jobs across the UK. TIGA’s Manifesto includes a range of interesting proposals that, if enacted, will accelerate growth in the video games industry. Congratulations to Richard Wilson and to TIGA for continuing to explore exciting ways to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games.”

Chris Law MP said: “The video games sector makes a crucial contribution to economic growth in my constituency in Dundee. Abertay, the local university, is also a world leader in games education. TIGA’s Manifesto highlights a range of measures to grow the industry, including enhancing the Video Games Expenditure Credit, improving access to finance and bolstering skills. Government and Parliament should assess these proposals and enable the UK video games industry to reinforce its position as a world leader in games development.”

1 Games market trends to watch in 2024 (Newzoo, 2024).

TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry.  TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. To this end, TIGA:

Get in touch:

Tel: 0845 468 2330
Email: info@tiga.org
Web: www.tiga.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tigamovement
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TIGAMovement
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/tiga

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