Insights Ukie reports on British Film Institute figures showing huge annual increase in Video Games Tax Relief certifications.

Ukie reports that the statistics for Q1 2016 on film, high-end television, animation programmes, children’s TV programmes and video games certification released by the BFI, the body charged with certifying the reliefs, show a huge year on year increase in the number of games receiving Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) in the first round of figures of the scheme’s first two full years of activity.

The first three months of 2016 saw 75 games certified for tax relief, a 74% increase from the same quarter in 2015.  This includes games that received both final and interim certification.

Games qualifying through the “cultural test” typically receive a return of about 20% of their development costs.  The figures show that the VGTR scheme is working to encourage growth in the UK games industry, with increasing numbers of companies taking advantage of this relief.

Ukie says that the figures also allow people to see how the scheme has progressed over the two full years since it came into force.  Since April 2014, 152 games have received final certification in total, with a combined budget of £290 million.  Over the same period a further 184 games received interim certification, allowing them to claim tax relief whilst their game is still in production.  These games had a total budget of £799 million.

Overall, Ukie says, the figures show that up to 336 games have already benefited from VGTR in the two years it has been available in the UK, with a budget between them of over £1 billion.  However, there remains a lack of clarity over the figure: some games reported to have received interim certification may have also gone on to get final certification in the same period.  Ukie has asked the BFI to provide clarity on this figure.  To read Ukie’s press release in full and for a link to the BFI statistics, click here.