Turkish game studios don’t pay tax as government supports burgeoning industry

Games from Turkiye head of advisory board Tugbek Olek outlines Turkey's tax incentives to support its growing games industry at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco

Turkish game studios don’t pay tax as government supports burgeoning industry

Turkish games studios don’t pay any tax on their earnings, say Games from Turkiye advisory board head Tugbek Olek.

Speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2024, Olek outlined the Turkish government’s tax and investment incentives to help grow its burgeoning games industry which now includes the likes of Dream Games, Peak Games and Rollic.

Olek said designers and developers employed at these studios are also exempt from taxes too, and are excused from paying income tax.

Investing in gaming is also tax-free, as Turkey doesn’t have capital games tax. Olek said that means if there is a $10 million exit from an investment, that money is retained and untaxed.

“I know it sounds too good to be true, but believe me, it’s even better than that,” said Olek.

Incentivising develpoment

Other incentives available to local developers including the government supporting 50% of the salaries of two development staff up to $50k, as well as expenses up to 80% for travel, accommodation and a booth at global events (limits apply).

Meanwhile, the government supports games companies with platform commissions. When Apple and Google take their 30% cut, for example, the government will pay back 50% of that figure up to $100k.

Olek claimed that getting access to these incentives is much more simple than in other countries like the UK, noting most incentives require “just a single sheet of paper”, and that the government typically pays out within three to six months.

It should be noted that the incentives are for research & development and design..

Growing industry

Olek claimed that there are likely now approximately 850 studios in Turkey’s games industry, based on startup data from Startups.Watch that estimated that there were 785 games startups in the country right now - not including large developers like Peak Games and Rollic.

50% of those studios are located in Istanbul, which he said made the city the second biggest games development hub in Europe after London. Meanwhile, Ankara was the second largest games hub in Turkey.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.