TIGA is an organisation that supports game developers and publishers to strengthen their voice within the political sphere, they also help out commercially and media-wise too. These types of organisations are critical all over the world to ensure that the video games industry as a whole can be represented at a higher level politically and with the groups pushing, hopefully gain a favourable settlement of policies to help the industry.
As we all know, Brexit is looming. If you don't know then Brexit is essentially the result of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and with that comes a lot of uncertainty because our politicians have yet to decide how we are going to leave and it's only a few weeks away now! TIGA has therefore released some guidance for developers and publishers about what a "no deal" scenario means, no deal effectively means the UK leave the EU with nothing, no free trade, no free movement of people, ceasing involvement in many multi-national agencies and bodies we have come to be a part of, I say "we" as I'm British.
The key areas are of course access to the EU labour market, access to EU funding streams and various tax relief programmes, trade tariffs implemented due to no free trade deal, implications on copyright and trademarks.
To begin with, there are various steps to getting in talent from the EU if there is a no deal Brexit, EEA citizens including Swiss can come to the UK to visit, study or work for up to 3 months. If you want to stay longer than that you'll need to apply for permission and successfully get a European Temporary Leave to Remain which lets to stay for 3 years. If you want to stay for longer than that then there will be a further application process but that will be ironed out from 2021. If you want to apply for settled status and you already live in the UK you are eligible to apply to do so until 31 December 2020.
An important feature of the document which is something I'm sure we are all worried about is the question "will we see our game prices increase due to no free trade deal?" The answer by Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General says there should not be:
Digital sales of video games via online platforms or marketplaces are considered a supply of service, as opposed to a supply of goods. Therefore, such sales are currently not subject to UK customs tariffs when supplied to ‘Rest of World’ countries.
There are of course more points in the guidance than what I have just gone through, however I focused on the key aspects the document shares that apply to our preliminary thoughts as gamers. If you want to read the full article click here.