The Cultural Test and BFI Certification

That means passing their cultural test to prove your game's "British" enough.

Capturing the Flag: British Film Institute Certification

If you’re hoping to qualify for Video Games Tax Relief you’re going to need a certificate from the British Film Institute. That means passing their cultural test to prove your game’s “British” enough. Here’s what you need to know about the test.

Getting On the Scoreboard

Passing the test means scoring at least 16 points out of a possible 31 on offer.
The points are grouped as follows:

  • Cultural content (16 points available).
  • Cultural contribution (4 points available).
  • Cultural hubs (3 points available).
  • Cultural practitioners (8 points available).

Early Access: The Interim Certificate

If your game’s still in development, you’ll need an interim certificate to claim tax relief. The basic rules are the same, but your certificate will only be valid for three years. Once the game’s complete, you can upgrade to a full certificate. You can apply for that as soon as the game’s ready for public release.

Setting a High Score

Boosting your rankings in the cultural test can make all the difference to your VGTR claim. Here’s a brief walkthrough of what it takes to max out your scores:

  • Cultural content: setting the game in the UK or EEA, featuring UK/EEA lead characters or using English dialects and British/EEA subject matter.
  • Cultural contribution: reflecting British creativity, diversity and heritage.
  • Cultural hubs: programming, storyboarding or developing your concept
    in the UK.
  • Cultural Practitioners: employing EEA citizens or residents in key roles.

Save Files: Backing Up your BFI Certification Application

The BFI will ask you for paperwork to back up the claims you’re making in the cultural test. Depending on your game, you might need:

  • Dialogue scripts and a full synopsis or treatment of the game.
  • Screenshots, gameplay footage, storyboards and/or concept art.
  • Your production schedule and budget (whether interim or final).
  • A writer’s agreement or other document to show who it was written by.

The BFI cultural test can be a complicated boss fight to deal with, and with so much tax relief at stake you have to be sure you’re hitting all the checkpoints. There’s intense competition in the video game business. Call or email RIFT R&D to see how we can boost your place on the leaderboards.

Contact us today, to start your claim.