UK trade body TIGA has been urging the EU Commission
to approve video game tax breaks for the UK. Now the European Games Developer Federation has recommended that tax breaks for the UK would be beneficial for Europe as a whole.
In the month that the proposed tax breaks were meant to come into effect, the EU Commission launched an investigation
into the case for such a relief program, stating that it does not believe that aid is necessary to stimulate the production of video games in the UK.
The EGDF said today that the proposed UK tax breaks are "culturally and economically necessary." In particular, the organization questions the EU Commission's concerns that tax breaks for video games in the UK would distort the overall video game market in Europe.
"The European game development sector competes mainly on a global level with other game developers worldwide," the statement reads. "The introduction of a video game tax Relief for France in 2008 did not distort the EU market, nor did it have an impact on the other national EU markets. The same is expected with the UK Games Tax Relief."
Guillaume de Fondaumiere, co-CEO at Heavy Rain
studio Quantic Dream and chairman of the EGDF, added that the UK is "Europe's stronghold when it comes to video games development," and that it has witnessed "an alarming brain drain and entire studios closing down as global investment has been diverted to other countries." The tax relief is necessary to save the UK video game industry, he says.
"The UK's Games Tax Relief scheme is really about saving this stronghold on a European scale by encouraging developers and publishers to produce innovative and culturally British titles," he says. "We strongly support the measure and hope it will be retroactive from April 1st 2013 onwards. Europe needs this impetus, and we need it this year."