Tax Breaks For UK Game Development Coming In 2013

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, revealed this morning that the UK video games industry would benefit from tax breaks - but it must first be subject to EU approval.

Promising to support British studios, Mr Osborne's announcement confirming the long called for tax credits will be well received. However, under EU law, no country may benefit its own industry over those of other members without first being given the go ahead.

According to Jas Purewal at Gamerlaw though, it stands a good chance of being approved. He explained that requesting permission on "cultural grounds" gave the UK the best chance of getting the thumbs up, since this is how the British film industry tax credit was approved. However, even if EU approval is given, it seems likely that it will take up to a year to implement, something that the government has now acknowledged.

Mr Purewal believes that publishers and developers could stand to benefit from the breaks, but that their games would need to be culturally significant in order to qualify. This will mean either exploring British culture through the development of the game, or dealing with a strictly British phenomenon. This could involve anything from a historical title that focuses on colonial practices overseas, or basing a game in one of the country's major cities.

While it's likely to be a while before we see any knock on effect from this announcement, it could mean that in the future there are more games based in and around the UK and its 'culture' in years to come.