UK game developers to benefit from tax relief following policy approval

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The fight for tax relief for game developers in the UK has been long and challenging, but now almost a full year after this important initiative was to be implemented in the region the European Commission has finally approved the policy.


The tax breaks for UK game developers were meant to come about in April of last year but were halted on account of an investigation by the European Commission into the policy’s overall benefit and cost. This week, the committee said that the proposed tax relief is “in line with EU state aid rules” and will provide “incentives to developers to produce games meeting certain cultural criteria, in line with EU objectives.”

Developers wishing to apply for tax breaks for their games can do so starting April 1st, but they will need to prove that their work is of “cultural value” via a ‘cultural test.’ According to initial estimates, only 25 percent of UK-produced games will be eligible.

UKie Celebrates Approval as Victory For UK Game Developers

The association for UK Interactive Entertainment and chief lobbyist for the tax breaks, UKie, celebrated the approval as a victory for UK game developers, hailed by UKie chief executive Jo Twist as “a great boost for the UK games industry, and excellent news for jobs and growth,” which will result in “a great new era of games production” in the region.

Games trade body and co-lobbyist, Tiga, has meanwhile estimated that the tax relief policy in the UK will provide roughly £188 million in additional investment into the region’s game development industry over the next five years.

Will we start seeing more culturally relevant games being produced in the UK as a result of the tax relief policy, or do you think game developers in the region will shun the policy in order to continue to create games that follow popular trends?

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