The Autumn Budget contains mixed messages for the creative sectors. It signalled an extension to the UK Games Fund, but for just one additional year, more generous EIS tax relief which is great news to investors, an increase in Research and Development tax credits which many games studios will utilise, and an initiative around “immersive technology for creative content”. There is also a commitment to help creative sectors access growth funding, although how this will function has yet to be revealed. There is little detail on a sector deal for the Creative Sector, but the government plans on releasing an Industrial Strategy White paper on Monday 27th November which will give more information.
The BGI campaign team is naturally disappointed that there is no mention of the BGI initiative in this Budget. We hope the White Paper will contain more ambitious plans for supporting the Creative Sectors and more specifically the games development sector which is growing at nearly 5 times the rate of the UK economy. We face some intractable problems which have been solved in other UK and European sectors through strategic public funding and generated significant returns on investment.
Irrespective of the White Paper’s recommendations, this is just the start of the BGI campaign, which will continue until the BGI is funded. The team behind the BGI has long experience in originating and lobbying for ambitious projects, such as Video Games Tax Relief, that faced obstacles but went on to win government support and have massive impact on our sector.
The BGI has received unprecedentedly wide support from games and other stakeholders as well as 10,000 members of the public plus a growing number of MPs. It is an ambitious strategic initiative featuring significant private sector co-investment that addresses the heart of the Industrial Strategy’s search for schemes from nationwide knowledge economy sectors with global scale and massive growth potential.
The BGI team has started a dialogue with Government and has been invited to continue that dialogue post-Budget. We look forward to discussing how to deliver its strategic objectives and found a new agency for games culture in the UK.
We are delighted that the BGI petition has reached the milestone of 10,000 signatures. We look forward to discussing the bid in more detail with government in due course.
The BGI team is proud to announce that Chris White, the former MP for Warwick and Leamington, has joined the campaign to support the founding of the BGI. Chris is a long-time supporter of the games industry who fought hard for the sector in Parliament, including helping the sector to win Video Games Tax Relief, and chaired the All Party Group on Video Games. Chris will chair the new Policy Committee advising the BGI on policy issues. Chris released a statement today:
I’m delighted to be appointed to Chair the BGI Policy Committee. This is a very timely initiative and we will be working hard to gain support for this sector, which is playing an increasingly important role in our economy.
The BGI received more formal support today, this time from Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Michael Denny, who released this quote:
Britain has always fostered great creative talent which has consistently led to the development of innovative and ground breaking games over the last 25 years. Not only do British creatives and development teams contribute to British culture, but they also compete on a global stage. I believe that having a publicly funded agency to champion the games industry and games culture at the highest level in this country would be a very positive development. Michael Denny, Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Many thanks Michael and Sony for your support
We’re delighted that the British Games Institute is in the Times today, with a double page spread no less. We always enjoy sharing the fact that Angry Birds was the result of far-sighted Finnish government investment in Rovio.
Read it here
ps Keep an eye out for an update about some friendly, seriously massive YouTubers doing something special for the BGI!
We’re delighted to have won support from Codemasters. Frank Sagnier, Codemasters’ CEO, has supported the campaign for the BGI:
Helping young talent take part in the thriving games industry will promote modern culture and benefit the economy. BGI should be a priority for the UK government. Frank Sagnier, CEO, Codemasters
Fantastic to reach 7,000 signatures today – courtesy of some lovely support from Yogscast, Charlie Higson and some eSports stars. Need more!
Sign up here!
The change.org petition has reached over 3,500 signatures thanks to the help of many supporters. Keep it going people!
Ian gave a great interview to Sky News last night