UK games industry trade group TIGA announced this morning that it has formed a partnership with the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) to lobby the European Parliament for "improved access to finance for the video game industry." The EGDF has published a Report (Game Development and Digital Growth) which makes a series of recommendations for the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament. TIGA, along with other EDGF members, are pushing several game industry-related proposals to European policy makers in Brussels today.
Those proposals, according to TIGA's press announcement, include the following:
- Recognize video games as a form of cultural expression and make them eligible in all member states for public funding, as is the case with a growing number of non-European countries.
- Recognize that sector specific tax breaks for games production are vital for enabling the European games development sector to achieve its potential.
- Make video games a pillar of the upcoming MEDIA program or create an EU video game specific program.
- Balance EU funding schemes for SMEs between loan guarantees and prototype funding.
- Introduce a 50 per cent SME quota for EU RTD projects because SMEs are the driving force in innovation.
- Simplify the paper work associated with funding programs for SMEs and promote EU funding programs more effectively. The network of Media Desks throughout Europe could be used as contact points for information about EU support programs. Additionally, EU innovation programs should be marketed at major games industry events.
“TIGA is focused on fighting for the interests of the games industry," said Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA. "Many TIGA members have difficulties accessing finance. Improving access to capital is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK and wider European games industries. Whilst, we continue to lobby the UK Government to introduce proposals supporting the domestic industry, TIGA is keen to engage with policy makers in Brussels too.
The EDGF Report makes sensible recommendations, including the need for EU policy makers to recognize the cultural value of video games and the importance of improving access to finance. TIGA will work closely on behalf of our members with our European counterparts to try and deliver changes from Brussels which will benefit the UK industry. We call on the European Commission to carefully consider the EGDF’s proposals.”