On 26th April, 100 representatives from the UK games industry, along with the Prime Minster and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, gathered to celebrate the success of the UK’s video games sector at 10 Downing Street. Amongst the consoles, technology, industry figures, and politicians, there was a quiet but confidence consensus that the industry has come of age.
In attendance to hear about the sector was the Prime Minster, Chancellor, and Secretary of State for DCMS. For the Prime Minister, it was the opportunity to see what we see each day, the people behind the games businesses that continue to produce amazingly innovative and creative content, as well as experience the pioneering video games that are made here in the UK and exported around the world to a global audience of billions.
For the Chancellor and SoS, the hot topic of conversation was the Video Games Expenditure Credit, announced at the Spring Budget earlier this year. Up until now companies have largely claimed the VGTR whereby companies could claim back 25% of 80% of their core expenditure. The new VGEC will have a headline rate of 34% - but considering the claims process for expenditure credits, the effective rate is likely to be closer to 25.5%, only a modest increase from VGTR. We’re asking for additional support for the sector to turbocharge its growth, and we’ll be outlining these calls to government in our manifesto in the Autumn.
However, the afternoon itself was centred around the exhibitors showcasing their games, the technology behind it, and the people that make it all happen. This included Roll7 who showcased Rollerdrome, an original hybrid shooter-skater that picked up best British Game at the 2022 BAFTA Game Awards; Hello Games who showcased No Man’s Sky, a sci-fi adventure game that procedurally generates infinite universes to play in; and Ubisoft who showcased Assassin’s Creed: Discovery Tour, a version of the original open-world game that allows schoolchildren to explore an immersive historical world, to name just a few. Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse were also in attendance, hosting two school finalists from the Super Smash Bros Ultimate Team Battle tournament.
As the Prime Minster rightly said, “From Guildford to Dundee, our globally renowned video games sector is attracting investment, creating skilled jobs and opening up exciting new opportunities for growth.” With the creative industries one of the five priority sectors for the Government, we look forward to working in partnership with Government and policy makers to continue to share the positive impact of video games on society, whilst also ensure we have the right policy and regulatory environment to foster growth.