Raspberry Pi Heads to Manufacturing... in China

January 11, 2012 -

The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced via its blog that it has begun the manufacturing process for its ARM GNU/Linux machine in Taiwan and China. Besides citing prohibitive UK taxes on electronic parts (there's no tax on products already assembled and shipped into the country), the group chose manufacturers in Asia because the turnaround will be three weeks - as opposed to thirteen weeks.

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CEA Changes Course on Internet Sales Tax Collection

December 14, 2011 -

In the late 1990's and early 2000's a politician proposing an internet sales tax would have been ridden out on a rail. It used to be that lawmakers were scared of the subject. Now even retail associations - some of which represent huge internet companies - say they support the idea. One of those trade groups, the Consumer Electronics Association, has changed sides this week.

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Online Retailers Have Different Takes on 'Marketplace Fairness Act'

November 10, 2011 -

Major online retailers are divided over a new legislation called The Marketplace Fairness Act that seeks to tackle the issue of charging sales tax for purchases made online. Right now states only require customers to pay a sales tax on purchases made online if the online retailer has a physical store address in the state. The problem for states that want to collect those revenues is that most online retailers like Amazon only have shipping or service centers in-state.

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TIGA Urges Scottish Government to Create 'Creative Content Fund'

October 24, 2011 -

TIGA has publicly urged the Scottish Government to create a Creative Content Fund to help Scottish developers. The fund would be designed to offer up £100,000 investment to developers for new projects, and allow them to get the money the group invested back once a project starts making significant revenue. The fund would only apply to games where the developer owned the IP as well.

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Ireland Plans Incentives to Lure Game Development to the Region

October 11, 2011 -

Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny announced this week a comprehensive plan to attract more game development companies to the country by means of flexible incentive packages. Newly formed trade organization Games Ireland supports the move and hopes it will change the culture of games development in the country. "All the biggest brands in the world are almost here now," Games Ireland's communications director Paul Hayes told GamesIndustry.biz. "We just need to change the narrative and the types of projects they're doing.

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TIGA CEO Calls on UK Government to Do More for Games Industry

October 6, 2011 -

In a guest editorial on the UK version of the Huffington Post, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson ask the British government to give the game industry a break ... a tax break.

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Star-Ledger Editorial Board Wags Collective Finger at EA over Taxes

September 13, 2011 -

The New Jersey Star-Ledger newspaper has a rather strongly-worded editorial about what they see as EA's over-manipulation of the United States Tax code. The op-ed piece, a response to the New York Times piece on Sunday that basically outed EA for its practices, calls on the U.S. government to end "unfair tax breaks" for big corporations and to offer those incentives to smaller, more-deserving start-ups.

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Amazon v. California, Round II

September 6, 2011 -

While Amazon might be on the precipice of usurping legislation passed earlier this year by the state of California with a voter referendum this November, lawmakers are on the attack. The New York Times chronicles the fight going on in California in this article, which is interesting because it pits traditional retail in the state against online retailers.

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TIGA Comments on Zurich Insurance Report Conclusions

August 31, 2011 -

UK video game industry trade group TIGA said today that high technology businesses in the region were at risk of a "brain drain and skill shortages," complicated and compounded by the existence of tax breaks in other countries. The group has long sought tax breaks and incentives for the video game industry, but the financial downturn and austerity measures in the UK forced the government to abandon any measures that were on the table at the time.

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TIGA Calls for Expanded R&D Tax Credits in the UK

August 22, 2011 -

UK video game industry trade group TIGA proposed today that the UK's Coalition Government should open the Small Firms R&D Tax Credit to promote "a high technology recovery and job creation in high technology industries." TIGA made the comments in response to a "consultation exercise" by HM Treasury on the R&D tax credits.

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The Power of Tax Breaks in Ontario's Technology Corridor

August 19, 2011 -

Members of Ontario's "Technology Corridor" attended Gamescom in Cologne, Germany to show their support for the culture, work ethic and incentives the Canadian region provides to developers. Over the past two years, Canada's gaming industry has expanded 11 percent annually and is forecasted to grow 17 percent in each of the next two years. Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor were at Gamescom to demonstrate the province's "winning combination" of talent and tax credits.

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Texas Film Commission Increases Incentives for Video Game Industry

August 11, 2011 -

Texas wants more video game companies creating jobs in the state, so in an effort to make the state a more enticing location, the Texas Film Commission announced plans to increase incentives for the gaming industry to a level equivalent to what is currently given to film and television projects. Under the new rules, video game companies will be able to apply for grants that will give back up to 15 percent "of eligible in-state spending paid to Texas residents." This is a five percent increase over previous incentives.

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Gov. Rick Perry Hails EA Sports Expansion in Austin

July 19, 2011 -

On Monday Texas Governor (and presumed future presidential candidate) Rick Perry spoke at a press conference at EA’s BioWare Austin campus. The Governor, along with top executives of Electronic Arts confirmed that the company plans to expand operations in Austin - and in the process - adding 300 future jobs in the area. EA plans to expand its EA Sports division in the region and will hire 150 full-time positions, along with an additional 150 "contract workers."

During the official announcement Monday, Gov. Rick Perry said that Texas is "the perfect place" for video game development to thrive.

 

"'If it’s in the game, it’s in the game,' and right now Texas is where the game is being played," Perry told the press in attendance. "Much like the video gaming industry, our state is built on the foundation of competition."

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Tax Wars: Online v. Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

July 18, 2011 -

A war is brewing in California (and beyond) between traditional retail and online retailers on sales tax. For years politicians said they would not tax the internet, but a recent change in laws has made it so that Amazon.com has to collect sales tax from any affiliate doing business in the state. While traditional brick-and-mortar retailers applauded this change (they see it as leveling an uneven playing field) online retailers are, to turn a phrase, pissed off. Among other efforts, Amazon.com is seeking to rally anti-tax Americans by proposing a voter referendum in California to overturn the new state law.

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Game Industry Tax Relief Takes Center Stage at Develop

July 17, 2011 -

Vincent Scheurer of the London-based law firm Sarassin LLP passed us a note to let everyone know that he will be talking about game industry tax breaks in the UK at Develop. He will be presenting a talk called "Who’s Afraid of Games Tax Relief?" at the Develop conference in Brighton next week.

"This talk will consider, amongst other things, the arguments for and against games tax relief, together with an analysis of the lobbying from within the games industry which has recently been disclosed via the Freedom of Information Act," Scheurer wrote in an email to GamePolitics.

Scheurer's talk will commence at 4.30pm on Wednesday, July 20. Anyone with a free Expo pass may attend the talk. Scheurer says that he expects a "lively debate on the pros and cons of games tax relief."

You can find out more about Scheurer and his work by visiting his firm's web site.


Louisiana Enhances State Digital Media Tax Credits

July 12, 2011 -

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed a bill into law that improves the state's existing tax credits for the entertainment industry - which includes game developers. The addendum to the state's Digital Media Tax Credit will soon offer game developers doing business in Louisiana benefits as a refundable credit rather than a transferable credit. This allows those that are eligible for it to receive a cash rebate if the credit amount ends up being more than the outstanding tax liability for the year. Of course, the law still gives game developers a 25 percent tax credit on software production in the state and a 35 percent credit for state payroll taxes devoted to software development.

Louisiana policy makers say that these tax credits have been "instrumental" in attracting large companies into the state. For example, EA recently announced plans for an expansion of its game testing facility on the LSU campus.

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TIGA Warns of UK Development 'Brain Drain'

July 11, 2011 -

UK video game industry trade organization TIGA issued a warning today that the video games industry in the region continues to experience a "brain drain of skilled development staff." TIGA said that this warning is based on the results of a new survey of 104 UK games businesses which showed that 20 percent of respondents had lost staff to foreign countries over the previous 12 months.

Many of those highly skilled workers have been lost to Canada because companies there can afford to hire and commit funds to research and development due to generous government tax breaks and incentives.. The Entertainment Software Association of Canada recently said that Canada's industry has been "successful in attracting investment and skilled personnel from jurisdictions like the United Kingdom.."

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GDAA: Tax Credits Will Make Australia Tops in Five Years

July 6, 2011 -

Game Developers Association of Australia predicts that in five year's time Australia will be one of the top game development territories in the world. Tony Reed, CEO of the Game Developers Association of Australia, credits the future benefits of the Australian Government's proposed research and development tax credits.

The new A$1.8 billion ($1.89 billion) research and development tax credit legislation will give developers a 45 percent refundable tax credit. The credit is meant for companies that have a turnover of less than A$20 million, a requirement that many Australian game development studios fall into. Reed says that this new tax credit bill will help the local video game industry become one of the top three game development territories in the world and he hopes this can be achieved in the next five years. Australian studios have to register with the government to apply for the tax credit and are required to show proof of research and development.

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California to Out-of-State Online Retailers: Collect State Sales Tax

June 30, 2011 -

California has told out-of-state online retailers to start collecting sales tax for customers residing in the state Beginning July 1. This includes Amazon.com, Overstock.com, and GameStop.com. Beginning Friday this new requirement for retailers takes effect, along with a 1-percentage-point drop in the tax. The new tax collection scheme is projected to raise $317 million a year in new state and local government revenue.

Besides the slight cost to California customers, there are other adverse effects for companies connected with Amazon and similar retailers. Amazon and online retailer Overstock.com have reportedly told thousands of California Internet marketing affiliates that they will stop paying commissions for referrals of click-through customers. This is due to the fact that the new requirement applies only to online sellers based out of state that have a connection to California, such as workers, warehouses or offices.

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Pennsylvania State Senator Pushes Videogame Tax Credits

June 22, 2011 -

Pennsylvania state senator Daylin Leach wants to give the video game industry a substantial tax credit to do business in the state, and he's pushing a bill that will provide the cash. Yesterday he introduced a bill that would give videogame companies in the state a 25 percent tax credit. Pennsylvania Senate Bill 700 calls for $20 million in tax benefits to be dedicated annually to videogame projects where at least 60 percent of the expenses are within the state. While Leach is the sponsor of the bill, the Senator has the support of seven other senators, who are all members of the minority Democratic party.

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UK MP Jim McGovern Pushes for Games Tax Relief

June 20, 2011 -

UK video game industry trade group TIGA today issued a statement supporting MP Jim McGovern's call on the Creative Industries Minister to review the issue of Games Tax Relief "as a matter of priority." The MP made his comments yesterday in Parliament. McGovern raised the issue in Culture, Media and Sport questions in the Westminster Parliament with the Creative Industries Minister, Ed Vaizey MP. Obviously TIGA supports tax incentives for the videogame industry.

"I discussed future Government support for the creative industries—including the video games sector—with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the development of the plan for growth which was published alongside Budget 2011," said Edward Vaizey. "The plan for growth sets out the specific actions that we are taking to tackle major barriers to growth in the creative industries and to create the right conditions for creative businesses to flourish."

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Irish Culture Minister Considering Game Development Tax Breaks

June 8, 2011 -

The Irish government is seriously considering bringing tax breaks to the video game industry in the country, and UK industry trade group Tiga is obviously pleased. Irish Culture Minister Jimmy Deenihan spoke of the video game sector in Ireland as “an enormous global industry with great potential and benefit for job creation" during discussions in the Oireachtas, the Irish National Parliament. A development tax credit would certainly create jobs, which is important no matter what you believe about games.

The conversation among Irish government leaders is also getting praise from Tiga:

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California's Amazon Tax Bill Passes State Assembly

June 1, 2011 -

A bill passed by the California State Assembly on Monday aims to help California collect more than $1 billion in taxes from online retailers such as Amazon.com.

Assemblyman Charles Calderon, a Whittier Democrat, claims that the new legislation doesn't impose a new sales tax, but extends one that California should already have been enforcing. The bill, AB155, passed by a vote of 47-16, with the support of one GOP lawmaker. Now it has to pass in the Senate to become law in the state. The question for Californians that work for retailers like Amazon.com is how this might affect their future. If the tax burden is too much, maybe Amazon will simply go to another state where the tax situation is more tenable.

Most Republican lawmakers rejected the bill because they said it would drive businesses out of California, get the state entangled in Internet regulation, and force the state to defend the law in the courts.

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TIGA, EGDF Push Game Industry Agenda to EU

May 25, 2011 -

UK games industry trade group TIGA announced this morning that it has formed a partnership with the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) to lobby the European Parliament for "improved access to finance for the video game industry." The EGDF has published a Report (Game Development and Digital Growth) which makes a series of recommendations for the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament. TIGA, along with other EDGF members, are pushing several game industry-related proposals to European policy makers in Brussels today.

Those proposals, according to TIGA's press announcement, include the following:

- Recognize video games as a form of cultural expression and make them eligible in all member states for public funding, as is the case with a growing number of non-European countries.

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Former IGDA Boss: Tax Breaks Aren't Everything

May 24, 2011 -

Jason Della Rocca, the former IGDA boss and founder of Perimeter Partners, says that the video game industry needs to start thinking globally and stop worrying about local and regional advantages such as tax breaks. The elephant in the room was Canada's tax breaks and how various territories in the Great White North are pealing studios away from the United Kingdom.

Speaking to GameIndustry.biz at the Nordic Game Festival earlier this month, Della Rocca talked at length about tax-breaks and why they are such a small part of a larger eco-system. Della Rocca thinks that chasing tax breaks alone is a waste of energy.

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UKIE Partners With R&D Specialist Jumpstart

May 20, 2011 -

British video game industry trade group UKIE announced today that it has signed a three-year deal with research & development tax credit firm Jumpstart, giving members access to the company's services at reduced rates. UKIE members will also be able to get free advice about how research and development tax credits benefit their businesses through an exclusive UKIE help line.

"I welcome this new partnership between UKIE and Jumpstart, not only as a UKIE board member but also as the MD of my own business Mastertronic," said UKIE chairman and MD Andy Payne.

"Mastertronic has recently worked with Jumpstart, to maximize our R&D tax break revenue and I personally recommend that all UKIE members make use of the excellent service that Jumpstart provide," he added.

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Massachusetts Bill Flirts With Video Game Tax Breaks

May 4, 2011 -

Developers could get a decent 25 percent tax credit on production cost if their products bear a "Made in Massachusetts" logo. According to data provided to Develop by a tax specialist firm, any developer making less $1 million would be eligible for the 35 percent payroll credit. The savings would not be transferred to individuals, but to studio accounts. In other words, if the bill were to be passed, Massachusetts studios could attract better talent with bigger wages.

The information comes from a new Develop feature that taps two executives from specialty tax services provider Alliantgroup, who details the benefits of the bill. Alliantgroup managing director Dean Zerbe and senior associate Angelique Garcia said that the proposed tax breaks for video game studios would turn Massachusetts into a "safe haven" for games studios.

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Viacom Realizes Major Tax Benefit from Harmonix Sale

April 29, 2011 -

Viacom has managed to generate a tax benefit of approximately $115 million dollars with the sale of Rock Band creator Harmonix Music Systems, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. When Viacom sold the developer for $49.99 late last year, it was assumed by most in the media that it had done so in order to reap a major tax benefit for closing a sale by the end of 2010.

Of the $115 million, the company expects $45 million to be realized as a cash refund on previously paid taxes, with the remaining $70 million available to offset future taxes.

Speaking of its litigation with Harmonix, the company said it would "vigorously defend" itself and that it believes that the plaintiffs' position "is without merit."

Viacom acquired Harmonix in 2006 for $175 million.

Source: Gamasutra

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UK Secretary of State: Game Industry Tax Relief 'Constantly Under Review'

April 1, 2011 -

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, claims that the much lobbied for tax relief for the UK games industry is "constantly under review." His comments were in response to a question from the Conservative MP for Folkestone & Hythe, Damian Collins.

UK games industry trade group Tiga welcomed Hunt's comments. Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said the following:

"Whilst, we were delighted that the government made changes to the R&D tax credits which we campaigned for in last week's Budget, the introduction of TIGA's Games Tax Relief is the one measure which would really power the UK video games sector forward," he said.

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UK Culture Secretary: Developers Need Canada-Style Tax Relief

March 28, 2011 -

UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt knows that the Canadian government is leading his country's game developers away like the pied piper, with lucrative tax deals and incentives. Speaking to The Guardian, Hunt said that his country needs to provide similar incentives to keep developers in the country and entice other developers into the country.

"We need to offer the video game industry a package as financially competitive as Canada," Hunt told The Guardian. "I don't know if [a tax break] was the right way to go."

His comments come on the heels of last week's UK budget, which sweetened the pot for game developers with expanded research and development tax credits, but no tax breaks.

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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
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
 

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