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Trade association TIGA publishes manifesto to promote game development in the UK

In a nutshell: Game developers are facing challenging times, with thousands of job losses occurring in the global workforce. However, struggles can also present opportunities, as the UK video game industry association is attempting to convey to upcoming members of Parliament.

The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA), a network of UK game studios and digital publishers, has released an updated manifesto outlining a new agenda for the country’s video game industry. Developed in collaboration with Rebellion (known for titles like Sniper Elite and Alien vs. Predator), the manifesto comprises 10 detailed proposals aimed at revitalizing the UK industry and fostering an environment conducive to both game studios and individual developers.

The TIGA manifesto addresses the current challenges confronting the UK game industry, which has seen a downturn amid a global economic slowdown, posing a threat to over two decades of growth. In the past two years alone, the global game industry has witnessed more than 18,500 job losses, coupled with a decline in investments following the post-pandemic market contraction.

According to TIGA, the UK market has long grappled with issues concerning small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which struggle to access adequate funding and skilled talent to sustain their growth trajectory. The current downturn exacerbates these challenges, with SMEs facing a significant funding gap ranging from £150,000 to £500,000, hindering their ability to expand and capitalize on commercial opportunities within the market. Additionally, there is a pressing need for more skilled graduates and experienced specialists to drive game development initiatives forward.

The UK is already recognized as one of the most significant countries in global game development, according to TIGA. However, the organization suggests that it could further enhance its position if the next government and Parliament are willing to cultivate a supportive environment for digital creators. TIGA is advocating for an extension of the Video Games Tax Relief, which has already been approved, and the establishment of a new, independent games tax credit to bolster indie game production.

Essentially, TIGA’s manifesto is a form of lobbying directed at UK politicians, urging them to allocate more funding to the game industry. Many of the proposals focus on initiatives such as national game accelerators, sustained support for game talent, and investment funds to stimulate growth. Additionally, TIGA is advocating for the implementation of a new, competitive visa and salary system to attract and retain top talent, along with promoting competition in the game engine and platform markets.

According to TIGA CEO Richard Wilson, the organization’s objective is to position the UK as the “best place in the world” for developing video games. The new manifesto aims to provide politicians with a comprehensive agenda to enable the UK game development sector to realize its full potential and, naturally, enhance its contribution to the UK economy.

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