Tiga: Abandoned Studios Deserve Tax Relief

March 5, 2013 -

When a publisher leaves a studio high and dry in the United Kingdom, industry trade body Tiga thinks that such abandoned projects should be eligible for tax relief. Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said that publishers have in the past left some studios in the UK “high and dry” by demanding large development teams for extended periods to then cancel a project with little or no notice at all.

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Republicans Inject 'Video Games' Into the Political Discourse on Sequestration

February 22, 2013 -

As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).

The Trouble With Connecticut's Video Game Sin Tax Bill

February 22, 2013 -

An interesting article on The Atlantic examines why sin taxes like the one proposed for video games by Connecticut State Rep. Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) never really do anything productive. You may recall that Hovey, who represents the district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, proposed a 10 percent sin tax on violent video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB.

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Conn. State Representative Proposes Ten Percent Tax on Mature-Rated Games

February 5, 2013 -

The Escapist reports that Connecticut State Representative Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) has introduced H.B. No. 5735, or "an act establishing a sales tax on certain video games." The bill would add a ten percent tax in Connecticut on video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB, which would then be redirected to the State's department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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Missouri State Rep. Proposes One Percent Tax on Violent Video Games

January 15, 2013 -

Missouri State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) put forth a bill on Monday proposing that the state charge a 1 percent tax on "violent video games," with the funds to be used for mental health programs and law enforcement efforts related to the prevention of mass shootings. This tax would apply to games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

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Nevada Lawmakers Defend Take-Two Las Vegas Deal

January 7, 2013 -

As news of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Connecticut were coming to light on December 14, the finishing touches were being put on a deal with the Nevada Economic Development Board and Take-Two Interactive (see Vegas Inc. for the details). This week that deal is being questioned by the media in the state.

UK Conservative Party Launches Video Game Tax Breaks Web Page

January 2, 2013 -

The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom (the Tories) have created a page on its official website detailing the planned implementation of upcoming tax breaks for the region's video games industry. According to the page on the official web site, tax breaks will officially go into effect on April 1. The page goes on to note that the new tax incentives will give a financial boost to the video game industry and "help level the playing field" against other countries already offering breaks for their own video game sectors.

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UK Government Reveals More Details on Games Industry Tax Relief

December 11, 2012 -

The UK government released new details on tax relief it wants to offer the video games industry, as a follow-up to last week's Autumn statement. For starters, the UK government has decided that it will have no minimum spending threshold so that tax relief can be provided to companies of all shapes and sizes. The government came to this conclusion after a lengthy consultation period with developers across the region. The tax relief initiative will come into effect on April 1, 2013.

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House Unanimously Opposes UN's 'Internet Regulations'

December 6, 2012 -

The United States Congress may be a mess and the most unruly and uncompromising bunch in the land but they all apparently think that the UN should not be setting policy on the Internet. To that end, members of the House of Representatives - Democrats and Republicans - voted unanimously (397-0) against the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations' efforts to push "increased government control over the Internet."

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UK Government Proposes Tax Relief for Creative Industries

December 5, 2012 -

Today the UK Government published a document proposing strong support of Chancellor George Osborne's earlier Autumn Statement, which would give qualified games companies tax-relief set at a rate of 25 percent.

"Following consultation on their design, the Government will ensure that the reliefs are among the most generous in the world by offering a payable tax credit for all three reliefs worth 25 per cent of qualifying expenditure," the document read in part.

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Slant Six Games CFO Blames Lack of Government Support for Vancouver Game Industry Decline

November 1, 2012 -

A prominent executive officer at Vancouver-based game developer Slant Six Games says that the Vancouver video game industry in danger of dramatically declining because of the lack of support from the government of British Columbia. CFO Lance Davis blames a lack of investment from the regional government since 2008. He also claims that this lack of support has led to 14,000 job cuts at various game studios in Vancouver. In June of this year Slant Six cut a quarter of its workforce temporarily.

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UKIE, TIGA Offer Suggestions to UK Government's Game Industry Tax Relief Scheme

October 30, 2012 -

UK video game industry trade groups UKIE and TIGA have submitted recommendations for the cultural test that will help the government decide which companies are eligible for tax relief. UKIE and TIGA shared its proposed recommendations with each other so that they could approach the UK government with a "consistent voice" on the topic. In order for a game to qualify for UK tax breaks, it will have to meet the requirements of a points-based test that focuses on "cultural content and contribution." Projects will need more than half marks (at least 16 out of 30) to qualify.

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FCC Backs Off Broadband Internet Tax Proposal

September 10, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission has started backpedaling after a loud and public outcry from rights groups and netizens about their proposal to tax broadband Internet services. Democrat and Republican commissioners at the agency are now pointing fingers at each other for bringing up the hot-button issue in the first place.

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Free Press Fights FCC's 'Broadband Tax' Plan

August 30, 2012 -

In an editorial on Ars Technica internet advocacy group Free Press described the FCC's move to tax broadband as a way to fund broadband infrastructure growth in the U.S. as misguided. Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner says that the proposed $1 - $5 tax on customers would ultimately be turned over to companies like AT&T who have been slowly pulling out of the broadband business anyway.

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Economic Development Corporation of Rode Island Troubles Continue

July 17, 2012 -

The Economic Development Corporation of Rhode Island finds itself highly dysfunctional in the wake of 38 Studios going bankrupt and not being able to meet its obligations related to $75 million loan. The pseudo government-corporate entity has been without an executive director since May when Keith Stokes decided to resign over the loan to 38 Studios. Today we have learned from several published reports that another loan the EDC approved is not going to be paid back and that another executive has resigned.

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Delaware Passes Bill Approving Online Gambling

June 29, 2012 -

The state of Delaware has decided to legalize online gambling today. The Delaware State Senate approved the bill by a 14-6 vote to allow online betting in the state. The next stop for the bill is the desk of Gov. Jack Markell (D) for his signature. With state and local governments seeing growing budgets and shrinking revenue, they have warmed up to the idea of allowing gambling both in their cities and online. The law is the second in the country to approve online gambling on a state level.

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More Details on Rhode Island's 38 Studios Concerns

May 16, 2012 -

Update: A Boston Globe report indicates that 38 Studios founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has asked Rhode Island officials for more money for his company in the private meeting that was held this morning. The newspaper says that board members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation took no action on Schilling’s request. The amount he asked for was not disclosed.

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Rhode Island Governor Intervenes as 38 Studios Struggles to Remain Solvent

May 15, 2012 -

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is probably not having a good week. The studio he founded, 38 Studios, is having serious financial trouble according to several news reports coming out of Rhode Island, and the state is doing what it can to protect the estimated $75 million in investments it spent to lure the studio away from Massachusetts.

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Illinois Judge Rules State Internet Tax Unconstitutional

April 26, 2012 -

In March of last year the state of Illinois decided to pass a law that collected Internet sales tax from online companies like Amazon.com and eBay. Commonly referred to as an "affiliate nexus tax," the law passed by Illinois and other states including California, Connecticut, and New York, required online retailers who advertised on "affiliate sites" that had a physical presence in the same state to collect sales tax. The Illinois law had broad support among lawmakers and the state’s governor, Gov. Pat Quinn (D).

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TIGA Urges UK Government to Reconsider DCMS Elimination

April 23, 2012 -

UK video game industry trade group TIGA is advising the UK government against any plans to abolish the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The recommendation to abolish the DCMS as part of a tax cut package was part of a recent report from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson says that the elimination of the department would save very little money.

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Federal Court Gives Amazon a Win Against Colorado Sales Tax Reporting Law

April 5, 2012 -

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Amazon in a case it filed against the state of Colorado for trying to collect sales tax under a new law. The court found that because the company didn't have a physical presence in the state that Colorado didn't have a right to collect and that its new law ran afoul of the Interstate commerce clause in the Constitution - specifically, legislation forcing out-of-state retailers to report their customers' purchases to the state's tax authority.

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Georgia Senate Approves Bill to Cap Video Game Industry Tax Credits

March 29, 2012 -

The Georgia Senate has voted to limit the amount of the 30 tax credits the video game industry gets to $25 million and to restrict the credit allowed to individual companies to a maximum of $5 million. Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers said that the change allows for funds to spread around to smaller outfits rather than being used up by bigger companies. The new cap is a compromise from the original bill which sought to eliminate the tax credit altogether.

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Quantic Dream CEO: UK Tax Relief Saved UK Game Development Community

March 22, 2012 -

Paris, France-based game development studio Quantic Dream is thankful for yesterday’s announcement that the United Kingdom will offers its development community much-needed tax relief. Quantic Dream CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière went so far as to say that the UK games industry was facing a "tangible risk of collapsing" if the government hadn't intervened. de Fondaumière, who is also the chairman of the European Game Developers Federation, hopes that this will cause other governments in Europe to follow the UK's lead.

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UK Video Game Industry Delighted that Tax Breaks are in New Budget

March 21, 2012 -

Today the British government announced that tax breaks for the video game industry are part of the 2013 budget (thanks beemoh). Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to introduce corporate tax relief beginning in April 2013 for various sectors including video games, animation and high-end television industries. Osborne hopes that these tax breaks will "make the UK the technology centre of Europe."

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Connecticut Senate Bill Aims to Tax Your Video Games and More

March 14, 2012 -

The Connecticut State Senate is considering a bill that would add taxes to digital goods. The "stated purpose of the bill, is "to include digital movies, books, music, ringtones, audio and video works and similar downloadable products as subject to the sales and use tax." If passed, the bill would take effect July 1, 2012, and would apply to sales occurring on or after that date.

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Germany Considers 'Drudge' Tax

March 13, 2012 -

The Washington Times has an opinion piece that takes a shot at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration over what they are calling a proposed "Drudge Tax." The reference is to conservative Matt Drudge's popular web site The Drudge Report, which aggregates news from all over the web. While the flavor of The Drudge Report may not sit well with many, the concern with a new proposal being pushed by Merkel's administration is that it will levy taxes on web sites that aggregate content.

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Sony Accidently Overcharges Account Holders Sales Tax

February 25, 2012 -

One of our readers (who wishes to remain anonymous) passed along an email from Sony Entertainment Network customer service on Friday saying that the company had accidently overcharged them sales tax related to the period between November 18, 2010 and April 11, 2011. While his email noted that they overcharged him by 0.06 cents, we have seen at least one other email saying that the company overcharged a customer by $9.24.

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Rocksteady Co-Founder Urges UK Government To Offer Tax Incentives

February 9, 2012 -

Rocksteady co-founder and game director Sefton Hill has called on the UK government to offer tax breaks to game studios before it’s too late. Hill says it is time for the UK to support its games studios to match the benefits offered overseas or risk losing them.

"A lot of my friends have moved abroad to get work; there's a real talent drain," Hill said in an interview with CVG. "Montreal is a central place for development and it's mainly because the tax breaks they give are so phenomenal."

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Oklahoma Lawmakers Introduces Bill to Tax Violent Video Games

February 1, 2012 -

An Oklahoma lawmaker has introduced a bill in the state legislature that would impose a tax on "violent video games" to help fight childhood obesity and bullying. Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller (D-Stilwell) introduced bill HB 2696, which would add a 1 percent tax on games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the ESRB. These funds would be used for fighting childhood obesity and bullying. 

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The UK Brain Drain to Canada, USA

January 19, 2012 -

According to a survey conducted by Games Investor Consulting, 41 percent of jobs lost in the United Kingdom between 2009 and 2011 relocated to other countries with tax codes and incentives that favored the video game and entertainment industry.

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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
 

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