Video games firm Codemasters calls in Bell Pottinger Public Affairs for tax brief

One of the UK's biggest video games firms has engaged its first public affairs agency amid discussions on the detail of tax breaks for the games industry.

BPPA brief: Codemasters’ games portfolio includes Grid (Credit: Codemasters)
BPPA brief: Codemasters’ games portfolio includes Grid (Credit: Codemasters)

Codemasters, which is jointly owned by Indian conglomerate Reliance and private equity investor Balderton, appointed Bell Pottinger Public Affairs on an ongoing retainer with an annual review.

The Government is legislating for tax breaks for the UK video games industry, having accepted they were necessary to compete with countries such as Canada. It has drawn up a points-based qualification system covering how ‘British’ a game, its creative team and its development process are.

BPPA is helping Codemasters ensure British games developers are able to maximise the benefits of the breaks.

There was no pitch and BBPA has also been asked by Reliance to promote the fact it is investing in the UK, according to BPPA’s managing director Stephen Lotinga, who will lead the account.

News of the appointment comes just days after reports that the company is making around 80 redundancies, despite creating 100 jobs in the West Midlands in April 2012.

Codemasters made an operating loss of £21m in 2011 but managed an operating profit of £2.3m in 2012.

The developer has a licence to produce Formula 1 game tie-ins, and its portfolio includes F1 2012, F1 Race Stars and Grid.

BPPA rival Portland has been helping computer games trade body UKIE deal with the Government.

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