HomeInsightsBritish Film Institute’s quarterly update shows number of games qualifying for Video Games Tax Relief continues to rise year on year

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The association for UK interactive entertainment, Ukie, reports that the BFI’s update shows that a total of 58 video games received final certification in Q1 2017, up from 35 in Q1 2016. EEA/UK spend in Q1 2017 was £41 million and the 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 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.

As 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 the 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 tax relief 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, said: “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”. To read Ukie’s press release and for a link to the BFI figures, click here.