Tom Keighley

Video games need definition for industry tax relief

A precise definition of a video game is needed in order to implement games tax relief, the industry trade association has suggested.

The UK videogames trade association, TIGA, has put forward its own definition, designed to be “future proof” for the industry.

TIGA suggest: “a game is interactive entertainment software whose primary purpose is to entertain or educate.”

The definition is designed to allow for products which are primarily education, allowing serious games to potentially benefit from Games Tax Relief.

Vincent Scheurer, of the interactive entertainment industry business affairs consultancy Sarassin LLP, has worked with TIGA on the definition. Scheurer, TIGA’s Company Secretary, said: “It is important that we define the word “game” in a way which does not artificially limit the availability of tax relief for games companies in the UK.

“The rules governing the availability of the relief will include a number of additional restrictions on the types of games and expenditure which can qualify, so we need to ensure that the starting-point, the core underlying concept of a “game” itself, is wide enough to cover all types of games.”

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said: “As well as being of general interest, a specific definition of what makes a videogame will have a practical application in so far as games tax relief. It will ensure that tax relief is aimed at the right sector for the benefit of those squarely in the videogame sector.”

Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, added: “TIGA wants entertainment and educational games – including ‘serious’ games - to benefit from Games Tax Relief.

“98% of developers and digital publishers in a recent TIGA survey wanted educational games to be able to apply for Games Tax Relief. Our definition of a video game will enable a wide range of games to be eligible for the Relief.”

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