Global Games Development Incentives

From Ukie
Jump to: navigation, search

There is a range of incentives for games development across the world, from subsidies to tax breaks.

UK

There are several incentives for games businesses in the UK, an outline of which is provided below. For more information, see the main Ukie website, or dedicated pages on Ukiepedia where listed.

Type Name Description
Tax incentive Video Games Tax Relief Provides a cash repayment or tax relief for production expenditure on video game development. Studios can claim up to 20% of qualifying expenditure, that took place in UK or European Economic Area (EEA). For a more detailed overview of qualification, eligibility and economic impact, please see the dedicated Ukiepdeia Video Games Tax Relief page.
Tax incentive R&D Tax Relief Incentivising innovation and spending on R&D in many sectors, including games. It either allows qualifying expenditure to be deducted from taxable income or, in the case of loss making companies, a cash rebate to be claimed from HMRC. Cannot be claimed alongside Video Games Tax Relief.
Tax incentive Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) Generally for early-stage businesses. Government approved scheme providing significant tax reliefs to UK tax paying individuals who invest in early stage UK companies by subscribing for shares in such companies.
Tax incentive Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Generally for more established, growing businesses. Government approved schemes providing significant tax reliefs to UK tax paying individuals who invest in early stage UK companies by subscribing for shares in such companies.
Funding UK Games Fund The UK Games Fund provides Government grants to studios to be applied towards the development of a specific game project. Provide grants of up to £25,000 to early stage studios, or up to £15,000 for solo developers.
Funding Creative England Creative England is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support for and investment in the UK’s creative industries.
Funding Innovate UK UK Government funded innovation agency, providing grants to companies for “technology innovation”. Offers an ever-evolving roster of funding opportunities, covers many sectors, including games. A full list of current funding opportunities can be found here.
Funding Northern Ireland Screen Fund Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland, providing between 50-90% of funding for games productions with budgets up to £100,000.
Funding Scottish Enterprise Scottish Enterprise runs a variety of programmes for companies that want to set up in Scotland, with many applicable for games companies.

If you have any questions about UK-based incentives for games companies, please contact any member of the Ukie team, or email us via hello@ukie.org.uk.

Europe

Country Type Name Description
EU Wide Funding Video Game Development Scheme The European Commission provides direct funding of up to 50% of eligible video game development costs throughout Europe.
Belgium Tax incentive Film & TV Belgian Tax Shelter Tax Shelter provides additional funding of up to 25-30% of total qualifying expenses in the EEA. Allows finance of up to 40-45% of Belgian-eligible expenses. Spend must be specifically within Belgium. Currently awaiting approval from European Commission.
Denmark Funding Games Scheme Delivered through the Danish Film Institute. The DFI can subsidise concept and project development, as well as the production of Danish games.
Finland Funding Business Finland Game Business Funding The Finnish Government provides funding to video game developers. Companies registered in Finland can apply for funding at any time, and they receive support through a grant or a loan.
France Tax incentive Video Game Tax Credit (CIJV: Crédit d'Impôt Jeux Vidéo) Provides a tax offset of 30% for all eligible expenses incurred. The limit of the receivable tax credit has been increased to 6million. A game deemed 'excessively violent' however, will not benefit. There is also a cultural test involved.
France Funding Video Games Support Fund (FAJV: Fonds d'Aide au Jeu Vidéo) The French Government also provides various direct funding programs for video games developers under the Video Games Support Fund (FAJV: Fonds d'Aide au Jeu Vidéo).
Germany Funding German Games Fund (DGF: Deutscher Games-Fonds) Consists of 50 million EUR available for both prototypes and fully developed games, via the German Government. It is an expenditure-based incentive, with funding of 25% to 50% of total development expenses with 50% provided for prototypes and small productions, and 25% provided to projects valued at over 8 million EUR.
Italy Funding First Playable Fund As a response to Covid-19 and in a move to relaunch the Italian economy post-pandemic, the Italian Government have recently introduced the fund, aimed at supporting concept development and pre-production of video games, and will cover 50% of eligible expenditures.
Spain Funding Loans to Creative Businesses The Spanish Government provides loans to creative businesses, including video games developers.
Slovakia Funding Arts Support Fund Provides funding for interdisciplinary works, including video games.
Switzerland Funding Interactive Media Fund Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Government's arts and cultural body, provides an Interactive Media Fund for game developers.

USA

In the USA, most incentives for the games sector are provided at a state-level in an attempt to draw more US businesses away from traditional major development hubs such as California.

Country Type Name Description
US Wide Funding National Endowment for the Arts Federal funding programmes are provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Alabama Tax incentive Alabama Film Incentive Expanded to include games. This is a rebate on qualifying expenditures equal to 25% of state-certified production expenditures (excluding payroll). Total production expenditures must equal or exceed $500,000 but must not exceed $20,000,000.
Arkansas Tax incentive Arkansas Film Incentive Expanded to include games. 20% rebates, with no cap per production, on all qualifying production and post-production costs associated with a state-certified production. Companies must spend at least $200,000 in a 6-month period in connection with an eligible project.
Connecticut Tax incentive Digital Media and Motion Picture Tax Credit Provides 10 to 30% tax credit on Connecticut expenditure. The tax credit is expenditure-based: expenses between $100k to $500k results in 10% credit; expenses between $500k and $1million results in 15% credit; and expenses over $1million results in 30% credit.
Georgia Tax incentive Film, TV and Digital Entertainment Tax Credit Provides a 20% tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production/post-production in Georgia, and an additional 10% tax credit on their base investment if the qualified production includes a qualified Georgia promotion, for a total of up to 30%.
Hawaii Tax incentive Motion Picture Digital Media & Film Production Tax Credit Provides tax credits of 20% of qualified production costs in counties with a population greater than 700,000, and 25% of qualified production costs in counties with a population of 700,000 or less. Qualified production costs must total at least $200,000.
Louisiana Tax incentive Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive Provides a 35% tax credit on qualified payroll for in-state labor and 25% for qualified production expenses. The tax credit is available for a refund of 100% of its value claimed on Louisiana state tax return OR certified applicants can receive 85% of the value earned as a rebate any time during the year.
Nevada Tax incentive Transferable Tax Credit For Film And Other Productions Range of incentives available is 12% to 25%. The amount of the tax credit on eligible production costs and on resident wages, salaries, and fringe benefits is 15%. The amount of the tax credit on wages, salaries, and fringe benefits to non-resident above-the-line personnel is 12% . There is also a 5% bonus on the tax credit if more than 50% of the below-the-line personnel are Nevada residents and another 5% if more than 50% of the development was in a rural location.
New Mexico Tax incentive Film and Media Tax Credit Provides 25% of all video game production costs
Oregon Tax incentive Cash Rebate 20% cash rebate on production-related goods and services paid to Oregon vendors. A production must directly spend at least US $1million in Oregon to qualify.
Pennsylvania Tax incentive Video Game Production Tax Credit Pennsylvania production expenses must comprise of at least 60% of video games total production expenses. Recipients must place Pennsylvania logo on all packaging material, and include logo & acknowledgement of support in end credits
Puerto Rico Tax incentive Film Industry Economic Incentives Qualifying media projects, including video games, are eligible for a 40% tax credit on all payments to Puerto Rico resident companies and individuals, and a 20% tax credit on payments on all non-resident spending. Projects must spend a minimum of $100,000.
Tennessee Tax incentive Film and TV Incentive Program The program was enhanced in May 2018 to include computer-generated imagery and interactive digital media, as well as stand-alone, post-production musical scoring and editing. Spend a minimum of $200,000 on qualified Tennessee spend, either per episode or per project, you are eligible for a cash rebate in the form of a 25% grant.
Texas Tax incentive Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program Qualifying video game projects are eligible to receive a cash grant up to 22.5% of eligible Texas spending. It requires a minimum in-state expenditure of $100,000, 60% of production days completed in Texas, amd 70% of employees and contractors working in Texas must be Texas residents.
Utah Tax incentive Utah Motion Picture Incentive Program Expanded to include interactive entertainment. Up to 20% tax credit on payroll and in-state spending; this only applies to new state revenue generated by "digital media" companies. Requires to have spent a minimum of $500,000 in Utah.
Virginia Tax incentive Virginia Motion Picture Tax Credit Fund Tax credits equal to 15-20% of the production company's qualifying expenses. Must spend a minimum of $250,000 in state, and must also include a reference to Virginia in credits.
Washington Tax incentive Tax Credit Interactive media productions with qualifying costs of at least $500,000 are eligible for tax credits equal to 30% of the company's qualifying expenses. Note: in 2017, this tax incentive was extended for 10 years.

Canada

In Canada, screen tax incentives are primarily implemented at the provincial rather than the federal level.

Province Type Name Description
British Columbia Tax credit Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit Provides tax offset of 17.5% of eligible salary costs for video games developers. Applicants must have permanent establishment in British Columbia. There is an application fee of CA$1,000 to $,5000 depending on number of employees.
Manitoba Tax credit Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit Tax offset of up to 40% of Manitoba labour costs with a max tax credit of CA$500,000. CA$100,000 in eligible marketing and distribution. For 40%, a company must pay 25% of its company salaries to Manitoba residents. For 35%, if a company pays less than 25% of its salaries to Manitoba resident & incurs at least $1m in qualifying Manitoba labour expenses annually.
Newfoundland & Labrador Tax credit Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit Tax offset of 40% for labour directly attributable to interactive digital media products. Maximum of $2,000,000 per year (or $40,000k per employee per year).
Nova Scotia Tax credit Digital Media Tax Credit. Whatever is the lesser of either: a tax offset of 50% for labour (plus 10% of expenditure for productions outside metro Halifax zone); or 25% of expenditure (plus 5% of expenditure outside metro Halifax zone). Up to $100,000 is also provided of marketing and distribution spend.
Ontario Tax credit Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit A tax offset of 40% of production costs for game developers, except for 'fee-for-service' developers where a 35% rate applies.
Prince Edward Island Tax offset Video Game Labour Rebate Provides a tax offset for video game developers (rate not specified).
Quebec Tax credit Quebec Production of Multimedia Titles Tax Credit Provides a tax credit of 30% of labour, plus an extra 7.5% if French language, then based on production expenses up to $3,556 per title.

Rest of World

Country Type Name Description
New Zealand Funding New Zealand Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) Dunedin-based hub, providing various game development funds ranging between NZD $10,000 and $250,000 per project.
New Zealand Funding Whakawhanake Te Ao Niko-Interactive Development Fund Video game development through grants of between NZD $25,000 and $50,000, administered by the New Zealand Film Commission.
Singapore Funding Production Assistance (Games) Fund Covers 40% of project expenses, administered by the Infocomm Media Development Authority.
Singapore Funding Development Assistance (Games) Fund Covers 70% of expenses, administered by the Infocomm Media Development Authority.