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UK games industry gets tax break

Chancellor says "we need to keep British talent in this country"

UK Chancellor Alistair Darling has pledged that the Government will offer tax breaks to the UK video games industry similar to those enjoyed by the domestic movie sector.

The announcement came in today's Budget, and follows years of lobbying from UK games studios and trade body TIGA.

The UK trade has been under threat from Canada - where the Quebec Government offer a beguiling 37.5 per cent salary rebate to studios, as well as income tax holidays for UK staff that relocate.

TIGA has spoken of its fear of the 'brain drain', with UK studios and staff members emigrating due to a lack of Government support.

According to TIGA figures, the UK's games development workforce has fallen by a shocking 44 studios - six per cent - since 2008.

These have included Derbyshire's Free Radical (creators of Timesplitters) and Bath's Pivotal (Conflict: Denied Ops). Aliens Vs Predator developer Rebellion was forced to close its own Derby Studio - formerly the home of Tomb Raider creators Core Design - earlier this month.

Darling said that "we need to keep British talent in this country" and that "we have world-class industries, but our competitors are not standing still".

Major UK development houses include Rebellion (AVP), Lionhead (Fable), Codemasters (DIRT), Rocksteady (Arkham Asylum), Rockstar (GTA) and many more.