Home Gaming Rockstar responds to UK tax benefit claims, stating the program has allowed for the studio’s growth

Rockstar responds to UK tax benefit claims, stating the program has allowed for the studio’s growth

2 min read

Claiming that the Video Games Tax Relief fund helped establish over 1000 jobs at the company, Rockstar is responsible for claiming over a quarter of the program’s allocated funds.


The thing with taxes is that they’re utterly inevitable. Alongside death it’s one of the few consistent aspects of our lives whether like it or not. Rockstar Games, creators of characters that would probably do their best to dodge taxes, is clearly well aware that tax is unavoidable but that hasn’t slowed them down. The reason for that is two-fold: They’ve released literally two of the most successful games of all time and they’ve been helped out by the government of the United Kingdom.

More specifically the Video Games Tax Relief, a program set up by the UK to provide small and growing development studios with a way of cutting some costs and keeping their heads above water. Unfortunately, it seems the program is just a little to easy to abuse as it was reported last year Rockstar Games, alongside a host of other large developers and publishers, had allegedly been taking advantage of the system to save a load of money on their taxes.

Which is totally legal, don’t get me wrong, it’s just…well, when that money is meant to be spent on studios not making millions of dollars a week, it just feels a little gross.


Rockstar has now spoken out against these claims, stating that in their eyes they did nothing wrong. In a statement to VG247, Rockstar stated:

“The UK’s program to support the growth of a broad range of creative industries through tax relief is a proven success. The program has directly resulted in Rockstar Games significantly increasing its investment in the UK, creating well over 1000 highly skilled and long term jobs across London, Lincoln, Yorkshire and Scotland”.

This is after reports by watch dog group Tax Watch shared statistics which revealed Rockstar to have claimed 37% of the program’s allocated funds, which equates to around $104 million. For a program that was established with the primary goal of benefitting, “small and medium-sized businesses” it seems just a touch unethical for Rockstar to be siphoning so much of that money away.


“This investment and the success of British video games supported by the program not only significantly contributes to the economy, and to UK tax receipts, but also helps solidify the UK’s position at the forefront of videogame development well into the future”, continued Rockstar, dodging the question entirely.

While Rockstar is certainly not faultless, it should be reiterated that what they’re doing is not illegal as the Video Game Tax Relief fund is open to all development studios. The problem lies within the program itself for allowing a company the size of Rockstar to get away with so much money. Tax Watch has also speculated that the exorbitant amount of cash taken by Rockstar is likely to compensate for the production of Grand Theft Auto 6 although this information is unsupported. 

Last Updated: January 21, 2020


  1. Hammersteyn

    January 21, 2020 at 09:26

    They’re dodging taxes and they’re being allowed to.


  2. Kromas

    January 21, 2020 at 09:31

    Suggesting someone should kill themselves on social media isn’t illegal (as far as I know) but you are still a shitty person for doing so.


    • HvR

      January 21, 2020 at 10:37

      Can be illegal if judged to contribute to a person killi for hurting themselves or as harrasment.

      Girl in the US got some serious time after it was found she effectively caused her boyfriend to commit suicide.


  3. Gavin Mannion

    January 21, 2020 at 09:16

    The only problem here is the UK governments incompetence in allowing Rockstar to claim this… Rockstar would be crazy to not claim free money


    • HvR

      January 21, 2020 at 09:26

      100% stated the same thing back when he story broke. Besides a few apparent Johnny feel goods on this forum everybody tries their best to minimise their tax liability (why we have RAs and med aid etc).

      The one good thing it from what I’ve read is that the amount they could could claim back was directly related to new jobs they created and further education they paid for.


  4. HvR

    January 21, 2020 at 10:41

    On the good side of this, if this caused Rock star to reinvest the their millions in profits to create jobs in the UK should the program not maybe be expanded to continue to give rockstar the tax break?

    This situation is much better than say Apple who funnel billions into tax havens, pay zero tax anywhere, do not reinvest it and just sit on the cash and then make use of modern slave labour in the East.


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