Tax credit aims to allow Ireland compete in the €100bn gaming industry

Global gaming industry is larger than movie and music industries combined
Tax credit aims to allow Ireland compete in the €100bn gaming industry

Ireland’s games sector was inhibited by the lack of access to reliable funding, which is available in neighbouring nations. Picture: iStock

The planned new tax credit for the digital gaming sector should allow Ireland us to catch up with other European countries, many of which already provide dedicated funding to support gaming companies industry experts have said.

In his Budget speech, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the digital gaming sector has seen exponential global growth in the past decade. "There are potential synergies with our established film and animation sectors to support quality employment in creative and digital arts in Ireland."

It is planned to offer incentives to gaming studios and developers to invest in Ireland and grow the industry in a similar way to the success of the Section 481 incentives for the film and television industries.

Screen Ireland, who support and promote Irish film, television and animation welcomed the new tax credit. They said the 2017 Olsberg Report highlighted that the development of Ireland’s games sector was inhibited by the lack of access to reliable funding, which is available in neighbouring nations.

Economist Barry Reid who also carried out research on the issue this year on behalf of the Irish Games Makers Association said the Budget announcement was extremely positive news from an Irish perspective. 

"When considering the effectiveness of the current TV/Film tax credit in Ireland the potential uplift to jobs in Gaming could be very significant," he told the Irish Examiner.

"The TV and Film sector now hire more than Google and Facebook combined. On a global scale gaming is by far the largest entertainment sector, double the size of tv, film and music in total. Ireland is perfectly placed to benefit from this trend given its existing skills in animation and gaming. In fact, the two sectors could now be mutually beneficial adding further value to the economy."

The research shows that since the introduction of the Section 481 tax relief scheme in 1997, direct employment in the Irish Film and TV sector grew from 1,000 to 12,000 between 1997 and 2019.

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