Scottish video games '˜among industry leaders'

SCOTTISH-MADE video games are among the industry leaders and competing on the world stage, the E3 convenction has been told.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 1:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:29 pm
Gamers try out new video games at the annual E3 gaming conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Picture Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Jason Kingsley, chief executive of Rebellion Developments - a studio he co-founded in 1992 with his brother Chris and the maker of the widely popular Sniper Elite series - said legislation introduced in 2014 that gave tax breaks to British games studios of up to 25% has enabled the UK industry to flourish.

Mr Kingsley was speaking at the E3 video games convention in Los Angeles, one of the biggest events in the gaming calendar, and where Rebellion’s latest game, Sniper Elite 4, was being demoed for the first time.

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“It has changed for the better,” he said during the event, which also saw fellow British studio Rare showcase its new pirate adventure game, Sea of Thieves, during the Microsoft press conference.

Edinburgh-based Rockstar North, the maker of the renowned Grand Theft Auto series, is another studio based in the UK.

“The games tax relief has been a huge benefit,” Mr Kingsley said.

“Very sadly it was not introduced as quickly as we would have liked, it took a couple of years longer, which meant a few studios went bust, but broadly speaking now we’ve got full support from the industry and that’s really helped.”

Mr Kingsley was the man who first proposed the idea, taking it to The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA) which helped bring it before the Government.

He added that the success of mobile games studios such as King, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, and Supercell, the studio behind Clash of Clans, proved the legislation had worked. He said the tax relief meant that studios could compete globally with the multimillion-dollar budgets used to create games such as Call Of Duty.

“I think the industry is in an interesting place now. I think it’s stronger than it’s ever been. We are massively net exporters, of course. Europe is important, but Brazil is an interesting market, Russia is an interesting market, though they have some financial issues  - everywhere in the world changes all the time, but we’re competing.”