Executives from two of the world’s largest videogame publishers indicated that removal of tax breaks for game developers from the UK’s budget could have an impact on their plans to expand in the region.
Activision Blizzard Chief Bobby Kotick, told the Financial Times, “The talent pool in the UK is among the best in the world for what we do. But we really need to see some more incentives. We are seeing great incentives in Canada, Singapore and eastern bloc countries.” Activision currently employs about 700 people in the UK.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), which has a trio of studios employing around 1,200 might also rethink its strategy in light of incentives being pulled off the table. UK Managing Director Ray Maguire said, “The existing plans will continue but any further new developments would have to be looked at. Maybe something that was planned for the UK would go abroad now.”
Tiga CEO Richard Wilson offerd his comments on the article, stating, “The UK video games industry is not competing on a level playing field. Our key competitors have tax breaks for video games production. No such tax break exists in the UK. TIGA’s Games Tax Relief would put the UK on a level playing field.”
Pro-gaming MP Tom Watson, while “pessimistic” about tax incentives being enacted, indicated that he and other Labour MPs would try to amend the finance bill in order to include the tax breaks.