Page last updated at 00:21 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Game firms to push for tax breaks

Computer game
The gaming industry is looking for more support from government

Gaming industry bosses are meeting MSPs at the Scottish Parliament to press for more support for the sector.

They want to raise the profile of the industry, which generates about £20m for Scotland's economy and employs more than 700 workers.

Industry body TIGA has argued that unless the sector receives help from the UK and Scottish governments, the gaming industry could struggle.

It wants tax breaks similar to those given to firms in France and Canada.

The organisation believes the incentive is essential to ensure UK firms remain competitive.

'Great potential'

Hosted by Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick, the Scotland in Focus event brings together the firms and other industry insiders to put forward a co-ordinated argument to Scottish ministers.

Dundee is currently home to digital market leading firms including Denki and Realtime Worlds.

The latter was founded in 2002 by David Jones, formerly of DMZ Design, who developed Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings.

Richard Wilson, head of TIGA said: "Dundee is the epicentre for the industry in Scotland.

"However there are also important games companies located across the country, including Edinburgh, Fife and Perthshire.

"This highly successful and growing economic sector has great potential.

"Yet it faces serious challenges: skills shortages, a brain drain of talented staff to development businesses overseas, and a competitive environment characterised by overseas governments giving substantial assistance to their games industries."

Mr Wilson said the lack of tax breaks for the industry put Scotland's firms at a "serious competitive disadvantage".

Tax breaks for those working in the industry in France are due to end in 2013.

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