A videogame organisation is working with the Coalition Government to help determine the details of a cultural test needed to qualify for Games Tax Relief in the UK.

Games will need to pass a cultural test, as required by the EU and TIGA wants the views of developers, digital publishers and the wider UK gaming community on the content of this test.

The fundamentals of the cultural test for video games will be similar to the one that exists for the Film Tax Credit.

But TIGA would like the input of members and of the wider industry to help influence a cultural test that is suited to our industry and which will capture the cultural elements of videogames.

Games will secure points if their content meets fundamental features of the Cultural Test.

The Fundamentals are

  • Cultural content: British or European locations, characters, literature, film, and language.
  • British heritage: British or European cultural heritage or mythology.
  • Creativity: Innovations in gameplay, graphics, AI, audio, physics or functionality.
  • Cultural hubs: Development within the UK.
  • Cultural practitioners: Creative input of UK or EEA nationals.

TIGA believes Games Tax Relief (GTR) will give a powerful boost to the UK games sector.

It says there is a huge opportunity for the industry at large to have their say in the future for the UK games industry.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said: "TIGA’s aim is to strengthen the UK games development and digital publishing sector and to ensure that the industry contributes to economic growth. Video games can be cultural products and provided that the cultural test is designed to reflect the nature of video games, then the culturally based Games Tax Relief will give a powerful boost to the UK games sector.

"British video games developers can generate iconic characters like ‘Monty Mole’ and ‘Dizzy’, cultivate new game innovations like Little Big Planet’s "Play Create Share’ ethos, use narrative in new ways as the Fable series did and convey the humour that has delighted people of all ages in the Lego games franchise. "Games can be educational too. Denki was involved in the design and production of InQuizitor, a revision tool primarily aimed at high-school children, while PLA studios are developing a training game for the Army (Royal Armoured Corps, Signals).

"Games draw upon many artistic disciplines. Typically, 30 - 50 per cent of the cost of game development is spent on artists, animators and designers, with studios such as Frontier Developments creating beautiful art. music is also an essential element of many games. Driver San Francisco, developed by Ubisoft Reflections, involves 80 licensed tracks. Similarly, the compose Richard Jacques used a live symphony orchestra in the video game soundtrack for Headhunter.”

Video games have a major impact upon other creative media. Video games have inspired films, (e.g. Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Final Fantasy), television programmes (e.g. Lost), and music (e.g. EMI has organised a orchestral tour series called Video games Live featuring music from video games). Video games have also had an influence on literature, fine arts, design, museum exhibitions, academia, children’s industries, radio, newspapers and the Internet.

Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said: "TIGA’s members include small and start-up studios. These developers and digital publishers in particular need as much certainty as possible before or during the prototype phase that their game will pass the cultural test.”