Murat Oktay: How big is the gaming industry in UK?
Nick Watterson: The gaming industry in the UK is massive and continues to grow, being the largest of its kind in Europe. Last year it accounted for more than half of the entire UK entertainment market and managed to outsell music and video combined. We have a number of large triple-A studios and an increasing number of exciting indies bringing something different to the table.
– What kind of services are you offer to your clients?
Nick Watterson: At Alliotts we provide a full range of accountancy services including audit and accounts, tax, payroll and corporate finance. However to ensure we cater to all of our clients’ needs we also offer more specialist advice on business strategy, fraud prevention, HR and financial services.
– How is Brexit affecting the indie gaming industry?
Nick Watterson: We are still very much in a ‘wait-and-see’ period now but we have seen a slowdown in investment in the sector while investors see what sort of deal we end up with. It is likely that it will be more difficult to attract skilled developers from overseas in the future, which would put us in a disadvantage in the UK. Lastly, UK companies will no longer be able to benefit from future EU funding initiatives following our withdrawal.
– What kind of support can entrepreneurs get from the government?
Nick Watterson: There is a range of initiatives set up by the government to help finance studios through the development process. These include large national grant making bodies such as the UK Games Fund and Creative England and more regional funds such as Scottish Enterprise and Screen Yorkshire. In addition, there are tax credits available to companies via Video Games Tax Relief and Research and Development Tax Credits that provide cash refunds to studios when certain conditions are met. Finally, if a founder comes to sell their studio down the line Entrepreneurs Relief is available to reduce the tax payable on the sale.
– How can your firm help entrepreneurs to get support?
Nick Watterson: We provide useful advice and support to our clients throughout each stag of the application process for the relevant initiatives. We explain what assistance is available and which the best route to take for our studios is. We have aided studios in claiming for hundreds of tax credits over the years, helping support them grow their businesses.