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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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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Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
 

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