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Osborne reconsidering tax breaks for computer games industry

UK computer and video games pundits have become excited on news that Chancellor George Osborne was "reconsidering" tax breaks for the industry. GamesIndustry.biz had reported on a 'private' meeting held between the government and gaming company big-wigs such as Ian Livingstone of Eidos and representatives from Warner Bros and Sony and then The Sunday Times also reported on it.

At stake was a £30m-a-year tax break that had been culled in the Emergency budget. Games developers had access to three levels of tax credit, ranging from 20-30 per cent depending on how much a game cost to develop. Given that the average cost of developing a UK computer game is £570,000, most games would have qualified for the top rate 30 per cent tax break.

Since the cull, games sector lobbyist TIGA had been very active in organising support within parliament and had previously released in late January 2011 a report called Investing in the Future: a Tax Relief for the UK Video Games Development Sector which argued the case for a re-introduction.

The original argument from the government had been that the relief was poorly targeted and for that reason some industry insiders are saying that there will be no straight re-introduction but instead some new measures, probably targeted mostly at employment issues.

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