In an effort to attract video game makers over to the British Isles, the UK government is to offer tax breaks to developers worth millions of pounds. The tax break cap could be worth an estimated £115 million pounds over the next four years, though figures are yet to be finalised.
In order to qualify for the tax break, though, developers will have to pass a “cultural test” to verify that its content is influenced by European culture. Higher scores will be assigned to games that feature European characters and locations.
Jason Kingsley, Chairman of Tiga, the London-based game industry group, spoke to the Wall Street Journal regarding concerns that, in order to qualify for the tax break, developers would shoehorn “European” content into their games. He said, “I remember when people were first talking to me about this. They were saying, ‘Are we going to have tons of games based on double-decker buses and people with bowler hats?” The answer is no. But you could have games like that, and they would probably qualify very easily.”