When I first heard that the UK government was giving tax relief to UK based games companies I was very upbeat about how they were recognising the work of the games industry in the UK and how much of an international export it has become.

Fable IIIFable III

Alas this did not last when the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that there was a test for the tax breaks basically “a test to identify ‘culturally British’ games”. Just when you think the UK government might have got something right they have to go and spoil it.

Lets list some British developers and their games:

Codemasters – Formula One – British foundations but more worldwide than anything else.
Rockstar – GTA, nope definitely not. Okay how about LA Noire (the clue is in the title)
RockSteady Studios – Batman, I don’t think Bruce and his billions have reached our fair land.
Introversion – Prison Architect is based on the US prison system.
22 Cans – A lot of squares no sign of culture there, maybe if the boxes were covered with the Union Jack.

Okay there might be a few companies that may benefit such as Lionhead and Fable (Albion is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain and is the country that Fable is based in what also rescue) also Revolution Studios and their Broken sword series.

What I find most interesting is that the UK as a nation has been trying for years to define what makes itself British so I have no idea how the Department for Culture, Media and Sport think that they are going to magically pull a test for British culture out of its proverbial hat, I’m going to leave it there with a ‘Watch this space’.