MEMBERS of Scotland's booming computer games industry have welcomed new tax breaks which could be worth up to £35 million a year.

The tax relief plans, announced by the Coalition Government in 2012, have now been approved by the European Commission and will come into effect on April 1.

It will allow companies to apply for a payable tax credit worth 25% of their production costs, and is modelled on similar schemes for film production, high-end TV and animation, which have reaped positive results in the past.

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The games industry is thought to be worth millions to Scotland, with companies producing some of the most cutting-edge products in the market.

Rockstar North, based in Edinburgh, have topped the charts with their Grand Theft Auto series, while many companies are based around the University of Abertay's games creating courses.

There are currently around 500 games development studios in the UK, employing around 9000 staff. Sales of video games in the UK totalled £2.19 billion last year. Professor Louis Natanson, head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, said: "It's fantastic news that the UK's computer games industry will receive tax breaks, following the European Commission giving the green light."