CMC Animation Exchange – Presentation: The Games Tax Break
Dr Jo Twist CEO – UKIE
Jo introduced a lively overview of the UK gaming industry and how the games tax break affects the animation sector and crossover companies.
The gaming industry shares the same passion as animation for growing business and creative talent in the UK. Gaming is transitioning a great deal and engaging wider audiences, and the UK is currently the 5th largest gaming nation in the world.
Jo compared the two industries by describing gaming as a combination of animation, code and playful rules. But despite being a multi-billion pound industry, the gaming industry is facing its own challenges, dealing with changing consumer habits, a decline at retail and a move towards phones and tablets. Several of the large gaming studios have recently faced closure and the industry is looking forward to the introduction of the gaming tax credits.
Jo pointed out the many similarities the gaming tax relief will share with the animation tax relief, with a proposed rate of production set at 25% and no minimum budget threshold. The gaming industry is also pushing for similar recognition for indeterminate locations and settings as for animation and the BFI will be administering the cultural test. However, defining gaming has proved more complicated than animation, with models ranging from Games and Service offerings like Minecraft to traditional Triple A games bought boxed at retail like the Batman franchise games.
Currently a little behind the animation tax relief, the gaming tax relief is facing European delays, and the start date for claiming will only begin when the initiative is greenlit in Europe. To close, Jo stressed the importance of recognising gaming as part of our UK entertainment industry, and the need for clarity on the new tax relief as soon as possible.