Basing Tax Breaks on Culture Test is Problematic, Says Head of Euro Game Devs

July 6, 2009 -

France and England both mandate that video game projects be culturally relevant in order to qualify for financial incentives. But the head of the European Game Developers Federation told gamesindustry.biz that such requirements make little sense either culturally or as a matter of economic policy.

Guillaume de Fondaumiere (left), who is also an exec with Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream, spoke to gi.biz at the recent GameHorizon conference:

The cultural test is a problem... When you look at [European Union] rules, you have to ask: 'Actually, what is culture?' It's a national decision, so it's kind of weird that we, as the videogame industry, have to work with standards that other cultural areas don't have to follow.

To me, all games are cultural. Videogames aren't just a form of entertainment, but a true form of cultural expression, and I think that in twenty years' time this will be a given. No one will dispute that any more...

We know that tax breaks are extremely effective in stimulating an industry, and I think again that Montreal and Quebec have shown us the way...

So I think it's high time for governments, and the EU, to understand that money given in the form of tax breaks to the industry is not money thrown away. It's an investment with a very high return, so it's time that we had those breaks.


Comments

Re: Basing Tax Breaks on Culture Test is Problematic, Says ...

I was never really sure what was meant by these rules either.  Do you have to show at least 1.6 French flags for every hour of gameplay, show the Eiffel Tower at least twice, everybody eats baguette, and you win the game by surrendering?  ;)  I realize that's just digging into stereotypes, but what else could they mean?  If being made in France doesn't make a game French, then what does?

Re: Basing Tax Breaks on Culture Test is Problematic, Says ...

For the film industry in the UK (thus making his comment about it only being the video games industry irrelevant) it means that a certain proportion of the films development must be done within the UK. It's graded on points with very few going towards characters nationality or setting (5 points out of a maximum of 30, 1 of those points is for filming it mostly in English). Most of the points in a single category are for nationality of the lead actor and if 50% or more is filmed in the UK at 3 points each. Not sure how many points are needed to qualify for tax breaks but it looks like as long as your not outsourcing all your work it shouldn't be too difficult.

http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/consultations/Culturaltestforfilm.pdf

I can't see something radically different for the games industry so it won't mean the next Rockstar game with have to be GTA: Liverpool with only British cars you can steal and a brit-pop soundtrack, though it may have a Michael Caine circa Get Carter lead...which would be ace!

Re: Basing Tax Breaks on Culture Test is Problematic, Says ...

Well you've got to mention the revolution and use a gullotine on nobles. Oh and riot when you want better pay, riot when you want more rights, riot when you want more baguettes and riot when you feel like it, along with rioting when you don't feel like it.

That's truly French, and I would play a game that copied their rioting habits in a heartbeat!

Seriously, who wouldn't want to play as an angry French citizen trying to do as much property damage as possible because the price of baguettes went up and their coffee was cold!

 
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Andrew EisenComic on EA and its subsidiaries: http://cheezburger.com/8456978176/funny-web-comics-rip-maxis Might be old. Don't know who drew it. Still cute.03/05/2015 - 3:10pm
WonderkarpI'm actually quite excited for rockband 4. cause I feel like theyve had enough time to learn from mistakes and make a better game with better accessories03/05/2015 - 2:22pm
Andrew EisenAnd, for those who want more detail on Rock Band 4, here's an interview with the dev: http://www.hardcoregamer.com/2015/03/05/harmonix-talks-rock-band-4-wii-u-version-missing-keytar-and-upcoming-songs/137579/03/05/2015 - 2:08pm
Wonderkarphttp://techraptor.net/content/rock-band-4-announced Rock Band 4 is coming.03/05/2015 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenMechaTama - Again, my apologies for being unclear. The last sentence really should have started "For example, in the below link," similar to how I worded the request the last time I made it.03/05/2015 - 11:57am
Papa MidnightBecause, you know, that's worked out so well over the past 10 years that they've said the same exact thing: https://i.imgur.com/RFrFNoZ.jpg03/05/2015 - 9:25am
Papa MidnightAh, it's a new year. You know what that means: time for Microsoft to renew it's promise on PC Gaming! http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-10-games-2015-303/05/2015 - 9:24am
MechaTama31Not to belabor the point, but you did say "folks" and "any links", which doesn't sound to me like you were referring only to one particular link... </pedant> ;)03/05/2015 - 8:33am
MechaCrashIt can be made extraneous, depending on how you format the URL. For example: http://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ03/05/2015 - 6:28am
Andrew EisenMechaTama - I was referring specifically to the link below my post. I should have been more clear. My bad.03/05/2015 - 2:42am
james_fudgefair point, let's say "excluding YouTube videos"03/05/2015 - 2:25am
MechaTama31The stuff after the ? is not *always* extraneous.03/04/2015 - 11:57pm
MechaTama31AE: But that would make your link https://www.youtube.com/watch , which wouldn't work so well... ;)03/04/2015 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightFor those curious, that timeline came from Destructoid: http://www.destructoid.com/tomm-hulett-s-unified-mario-timeline-theory-288472.phtml03/04/2015 - 8:11pm
WymorenceJeez, who'd have thought Yoshi doing a good deed was the reason for everything in Mushroom Kingdom being so screwed up...?03/04/2015 - 7:49pm
prh99The most popular games on Steam for 2014 http://bit.ly/1zLE0r403/04/2015 - 7:47pm
Papa MidnightWow, EZK. Oh my goodness, that timeline is huge.03/04/2015 - 6:59pm
E. Zachary KnightIt's the Super Mario timeline. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/386496/smbTimeline_huge.png03/04/2015 - 6:49pm
prh99There are the various URL shortening services.03/04/2015 - 6:45pm
WymorenceIronic that they're releasing a game about cops and robbers in essence while they don the "extortionist" mask...03/04/2015 - 6:38pm
 

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