The BFI's quarterly update today has shown that the number of games qualifying for Video Games Tax Relief is continuing to rapidly rise year on year.
A total of 58 video games received final certification in Q1 2017, up from 35 in Q1 2016. EEA/UK5 spend in Q1 2017 was £41 million and total budget was £58 million, an increase on UK spend and total budget in the same quarter in 2016, from £22 million and £25 million respectively.
In the last 12 months, 212 video games have received final certification, an increase from 133 in April 2015-March 2016. This is a fantastic 59.4% increase in final certifications year on year. EEA/UK spend also increased to £220 million from £189 million, whereas total budget decreased to £258 million from £275 million.
For interim certification, in Q1 2017 51 video games received interim certification under the cultural test, with EEA/UK spend at £152 million and total budget at £164 million. This is an increase on Q1 2016 where there were 40 video games that had interim certification, with EEA/UK spend at £142 million and total budget at £149 million.
In April 2016-March 2017, 187 games received interim certification with an expected EEA/UK spend of £412 million and a total budget of £482 million. This is a substantial increase on number of games with interim certification April 2015-March 2016, which was 135, but a decrease on UK spend and total budget, which were £576 million and £631 million respectively.
Median budget for the projects applying for VGTR has also shown a huge year on year increase, rising from £0.2 million in 2014 to £0.7 million in Q1 2017.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, responded to the stats this morning, saying, "VGTR is fuelling confidence and growth and is a real driving force behind the creation of innovative UK content.
The continued year-on-year rise of games businesses applying for Video Games Tax Relief is a clear message to government that it is critical that the funding is protected and improved over the important political period we are entering into.
As we leave the EU, Ukie calls on the next government to continue to recognise the value of the games sector in driving cultural and technological innovation and growth; continue to support this much valued scheme, and to consider other opportunities to improve access to finance in order to continue to take risks with innovative, cultural content."