An inquiry into the future of the Scottish computer games industry is to be held today by a Westminster Committee.
The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee is to sit at Abertay University, Dundee, to – among other things – investigate the impact of a decision by the new Coalition Government to abolish tax breaks to the industry in Scotland.
One method of alternative financial support for the industry that the Committee is expected discuss is to be found at Abertay's new, £5 million prototyping project, where successful applicants receive up to £25,000 to help build a prototype game or creative product to present to investors. The project is expected to create up to 30 new companies and 400 new jobs.
Written submissions to the inquiry from interested parties closed on Friday.
In a statement issued by Abertay, committee chair, Ian Davidson MP, is quoted as saying: “The video games industry is hugely important to the people of Dundee. Not only is the industry a major source of revenue and employment, but Abertay University enjoys the prestige of being the first university in the world to offer a course in software engineering for video games and has been pivotal in cementing the reputation of Dundee as the hub of Scotland’s gaming industry.
“The Scottish Affairs Committee is extremely concerned about the impact of the recent announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to abolish tax relief for Scotland’s video games industry.
“The reality of today’s economic situation is that the lure of tax relief and financial incentives in other countries could result in a brain-drain from the gaming industry in Scotland to other parts of the world. Our inquiry, of which our visit to Dundee forms an important part, seeks to explore in detail the potential impact of this policy decision.”