TIGA, The Independent Game Developers Association, have called on the UK government to provide a new investment fund for the British video game industry.
In a new report, the trade body put forward their case as to how this VGIF (Video Game Investment Fund) would not only boost the game industry but also provide more jobs and a significant return on the investment for the treasury. The report states that an estimated £26.5m spent over 5 years would return £56.5m to the UK treasury. TIGA, who also operate the TIGA Game Awards, was founded in 2001 to represent and champion the game industry in the UK.
CEO of Tiga, Dr Richard Wilson, commented on the importance of the video game industry, both in terms of the potential benefits to it and the necessity of government support. “Difficulty accessing capital has consistently been one of the key factors holding back many games developers in the UK. TIGA’s proposal for a Video Games Investment Fund would improve studios’ access to finance and encourage the development of new IP, investment, job creation and regional growth.”
“Similar schemes to TIGA’s proposed VGIF operate in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Canada. If the UK games industry is to realise its potential and be the best place in the world for games development, then we should introduce a VGIF.”
Mo' Money, Less Problems
Government subsidies are an important factor in many countries and sectors. Normally, industrial sectors benefit most visibly from such arrangements. Many industries lobby heavily for subsidies in order to support growth, with the creative industries including video games often being the least recognised to receive these subsidies.
TIGA however, predicts that the benefits would be immense, including:
- 512 new full-time development roles would be created by 2027 (out of an industry total of 34,921 overall).
- 936 new development support roles would be created between 2023 and 2027 (63,845 overall).
- £91 million in additional investment by studios between 2023 and 2027.
- £83 million in additional tax receipts to HM Treasury would be generated between 2023 and 2027.
- £201 million in additional GDP would be generated between 2023 and 2027.
Even if the government doesn't respond to this request directly, TIGA and the UKIE continue to lobby for the good of game development and the gaming industry more broadly.