The introduction of targeted tax credits to support game development in the UK can be a watershed moment for the British games industry. Combined with a renewed focus on the supply of skills to the industry, led by the Next Gen Skills campaign, this support from the government will allow us to truly compete in having the strongest domestic games industry in the world.
If these tax credits are designed robustly and fairly, they will achieve two crucial goals: fostering the already vibrant independent UK developer community into a world beater; whilst at the same time encouraging inward investment by existing multinational companies.
These are complementary aims. A thriving scene of developers, in clusters around the country, can provide a healthy talent pool and supply lines, making the country even more attractive to global publishers. Inward investment from such publishers, meanwhile, can create more demand for developers’ services, and give a start in the industry to many more thousands who may go on to found their own studio.
This must all be seen in the wider context of the changing nature of the industry. As digital distribution becomes more and more prevalent, the lines between developer and publisher will continue to blur. The tax credits system must support both, and be future-proofed for a changed world we cannot predict.