Archive for the ‘Creatives and Digitals’ Category

Video Games Tax Relief update – boost for prospects of professionals working in this sector

Posted by:John Costalas on Feb - 20 - 2015 - Filed under: Creative & Digital Freelancers,Creatives and Digitals -

As part of the UK long term economic plan the video games sector is being nurtured by ensuring that the right conditions are in place. Video games companies have been able to claim tax relief on the production costs of games certified as culturally British from August 2014.

Video games must achieve a level of points which they are awarded based on their cultural content, cultural contribution and the location of the game’s development and nationalities of key personnel working on the project.

Video games tax relief builds on the model of the film tax relief. Like the High-End TV and animation tax reliefs, development companies are eligible for a payable tax credit worth 25% of qualifying costs.

95% of UK video games developers are SMEs. It is estimated that this new corporation tax relief will provide around £35 million of support per year to the sector.

In the first six months of the tax relief, 32 games received final or interim certification, meaning that they qualify under the cultural test and can claim tax relief from HMRC. These games have made a total spend in the UK of £47 million between them.

Nine games have already received a final certification and been released, with a UK spend of £2.3 million between them, or £256k per game on average.

For the 23 games that currently have interim certification and are in production, the expected UK spend is £45 million, or approximately £2 million per game on average. An additional detail is provided for the games in interim certification: their total budget is expected to be £54 million, so 82% of their budget is being spent in the UK.

A ministerial answer in Parliament last December revealed that the pace of applications has recently increased, which is not reflective in these figures. Early indications are therefore that momentum is now gathering, and hopefully next year’s statistics will be even more successful. However, as set out in the manifesto, more work still needs to be undertaken to promote the UK’s game tax relief internationally as a great place to make and develop games.

This is not only good for the video games industry but also for all the freelance professionals working in this sector.

Design Trends for 2015

Posted by:John Costalas on Jan - 30 - 2015 - Filed under: Creative & Digital Freelancers,Creatives and Digitals -

Computer Arts magazine have looked back on last year’s most prominent visual aesthetics and predict the trends that will shape design in 2015.
2014 moved away from the ‘heritage’ aesthetic that dominated graphics and branding over the previous few years and made more use of digital technology to shape its art. Four major movements in 2014 were:
1. Digital surrealism – digitally rendered imagery creating 3D effects for flat surfaces.
2. Gaming apps took a new direction with games like Lands End by usTwo which showed that ethereal, digital dreamlike landscapes can be as popular as the aggressive shoot out genre.
3. Generative design, created using generative software and computer algorithms, to customise patterns based on people’s design preferences. Many consider this type of technology is enabling self-expression and uniqueness.
4. Op Art, optical illusions, naturally lending themselves to the digital realm. These were especially brought to life through gifts and short animations.
The trends predicted for 2015:
1. The work inspired by digital technology will continue into print.
2. Retro influences will be taken from the 80’s and 90’s e.g. early computer graphics, bad taste and iconic brand motifs.
3. Sci-fi and space following the launch of major film launches in the genre.

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