EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

July 22, 2010 -

On Wednesday, surrounded by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and other state and local officials, Electronic Arts executives had a "grand opening" of its offices in Salt Lake City to much applause. The office has actually been running in Salt Lake for three months, but this grand celebration allowed the public to get a look inside EA's new operation. The 20,000-square-foot office serves as a base to develop and manufacture games featuring pet and Nerf guns toys for children and families as part of an agreement it signed with Hasbro.

But after the ceremonial "grand opening," EA took the opportunity to strongly urge Utah lawmakers to give the videogame industry more tax incentives on par with what it currently gives the film industry. EA government affairs director Craig Hagan led the charge, saying that in other parts of the country, like Texas and Florida, and in Canada's Vancouver and British Columbia, governments are offering rebates on corporate income taxes of up to 42 percent to companies like EA.

"We're not competing with traditional brick-and-mortar business in Main Street," he said. "We're competing against other digital media companies across the world."

Hagan also said that the average wage for a game-industry employee is $92,000 a year and that the industry is larger than money generated from Hollywood films and music combined, bringing in about $20 billion worldwide every year.

Members of the Governor's Office of Economic Development said that some incentives are available to businesses like EA but the company did not use them. Gov. Gary Herbert added that Utah has been ranked highly among states in terms of places to work and places to start technology companies. Legislators at the party said that no incentive programs for the technology sector are on the table at this point in time, but they were willing to listen to EA executives about the issue.

Source: Desert News, Image Credit: Jason Olson


Comments

Re: EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

Don't see it happening. Utah is effectively run by groups like the Eagle Forums and Mormon groups that are bent on getting all games declared the "spawn of Satan". Trying to encourage game development there is not likely to happen.

Re: EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

But this EA branch is developing and manufacturing "games featuring pet and Nerf guns toys for children and families". Edge-y this is not, it knid of feels like a peace offering.

 

And unrelated, don't sue me Tim Langdell.

Re: EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

I resent that remark. As a Mormon, I can tell you that we do not seek banning games of any nature. Are there members of our church that feel that way? Yes. But they do not represent the views of the Church.

I am linking the official stance on media consumption of our church:

http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,30-1-7-7,00.html

The relevent part is here:

Our Heavenly Father has counseled us as Latter-day Saints to seek after "anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" ... Don't attend or participate in any form of entertainment, including concerts, movies, and videocassettes, that is vulgar, immoral, inappropriate, suggestive, or pornographic in any way.

No where does it state that we should seek to ban what we consider offensive.

So once again, don't let a few people who do not represent that actual views of our church cloud your judgement of our church.

As for the second part of your comment, EA already has a studio in Utah and have been there for years. There are several other small and largish studios there as well.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

 
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Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthe thing is unions earned their bad reputation in the US. the way unions oparate the better at your job you are, the likely you want to be in a union.07/07/2015 - 11:33am
InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
MechaCrashUnexpected? Seriously?07/07/2015 - 10:55am
Mattsworknamejob they wanted without the unions getting involved. The problem is, it has some unexpected side effects, like the ones Info mentioned07/07/2015 - 8:49am
MattsworknameThe problem being, right to work states exsist specificly as a counter to Unions, as the last 20 or so years have shown, the unions have been doing this countries economoy NO favors. The right to work states came into being to allow people to work any07/07/2015 - 8:49am
Infophile(cont'd) discriminatory. This can only be done for protected classes which are outlined in law (race, sex, religion, ethnicity everywhere, sexual orientation in some states). So, a gay person could be fired because they're gay and have no recourse there.07/07/2015 - 7:27am
Infophile@Goth: See here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/firedforbeinggay.asp for a good discussion on it. Basically, the problem is that in the US, most states allow at will firing, and it's the burden of the fired person to prove the firing was ...07/07/2015 - 7:25am
Goth_SkunkAssuming that's true, then that is a fight worth fighting for.07/07/2015 - 6:58am
Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
 

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