UK Games Industry Tax Breaks Approved as Sony Layoffs Hit 3 UK Studios

The European Commission has approved measures to introduce games tax relief policies in the UK  that UK games industry trade body Tiga estimates will give an £188m boost for UK games developers over the next 5 years.

Follow years of campaigning by the UK games industry and Tiga that started back in 2008, The European Commission began to investigate the proposed state aid policy back in 2012, and was tasked with judging whether such policies complied with Europe-wide directives. The Commission has now concluded that tax relief measures are in line with regulations.

When put in place the policy will allow games studios to be given discounts on production costs, of up to 25 per cent, though the total benefit will be capped. It is hoped this will encourage more games to be developed in the UK and also allow for the best of UK developers to remain in the country and not move to mother countries such as Canada and the US where they are offered more opportunities. It could also strengthen UK studios reducing the risk of lay-offs that have been common in recent years.

This decision could now pave the way for other European countries to provide similar tax relief for EU based games developers boosting the European games industry as a whole.

Sony lay-offs hit 3 UK studios

In separate news not so great for the UK games industry, earlier this week Sony confirmed that it has laid off an unconfirmed number of staff at three UK developers following a review of all current projects they were working on. The studios effected are Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Cambridge and SCE London Studio.

In a statement Sony said:

“Regular reviews take place throughout SCE Worldwide Studios, ensuring that the resources that we have in such a competitive business can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects,”

“As part of this process, we have reviewed and assessed all current projects and have decided to make some changes to some of our European Studios. As a result of this, there will be a focused restructure within London Studio, Guerrilla Cambridge Studio and Evolution Studio to ensure that the SCE WWS is in the best position to achieve their goals going forward.

“Our first party development studios are key to our creative strategy and we are very excited about the future projects being worked on.”

Source: CVG/Eurogamer

Reporter: Soulfinger

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