Tax breaks for game devs? Thanks Darling!

Chancellor Alistair Darling announced the UK’s 2010 Budget today. Bad news if you’re a cider-drinking, ciggy-smoking, £1m home owner. Great news if you’re a game developer.

On the back of relentless campaigning by TIGA (the trade association representing the UK games industry), tax relief will now be offered for videogame developers in the UK. More specifically, game companies can now retain more of the profits they earn from successful titles, while getting tax breaks for those that underperform.

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson immediately responded, saying that the breaks will “protect 3,550 graduate level jobs, increase or safeguard £457 million in development expenditure and encourage developers to adopt new business models and create new intellectual property.”

“Games Tax Relief will ensure that the UK remains a world leading developer of video games. Games Tax Relief is good for the UK video games industry, good for UK consumers and good for the UK economy,” he added.

The tax breaks are likely to make the UK a more attractive prospect to new studios. Canada’s tax relief initiatives have proved to be consistently enticing over the years, as evidenced most recently by the opening of a new Warner Bros. studio in Montreal. Now the UK industry will be hoping to replicate that success.