Report: Global Publisher Killed UK Tax Breaks

June 25, 2010 -

Develop is reporting that “one of the biggest game companies in the world" used strong arm tactics to help kill tax breaks for UK videogame developers.

The unnamed company in question reportedly “spoke to well-placed parliament allies to dissuade any legislative measures.” Why would one company lobby so tirelessly against a measure that would help the industry as a whole? Develop wrote:

This company had apparently viewed game tax relief as a measure that would have given the UK an unfair advantage over other nations.

An unfair advantage? That phrase doesn’t make much sense considering the UK has fallen into fourth place (by some accounts) in terms of number of game developers, trailing Japan, the U.S. and Canada.

Scandalous! Before we all start guessing who it is, consider that “Bobby Kotick” himself commented on the Develop story saying, “Lol, don’t look at me!”
 

Thanks NovaBlack and beemoh!


Comments

Re: Report: Global Publisher Killed UK Tax Breaks

Surely more countries offering tax breaks adds to more competition in driving down the costs?

Could the lobbying have also been backed by foreign governments (say the Canadian government)?

Re: Report: Global Publisher Killed UK Tax Breaks

Before we all start guessing who it is, consider that “Bobby Kotick” himself commented on the Develop story saying, “Lol, don’t look at me!”

So who can we look with relentless eyes full of evil for making the UK drop the tax break? 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Report: Global Publisher Killed UK Tax Breaks

I honestly don't know and I find it shameful to think that any game company would want to sabatoge the games industry in any nation.

But I guess you really need to look at who has been taking advantage of tax incentives in other nations. A few companies come to mind.

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

Re: Report: Global Publisher Killed UK Tax Breaks

But why would they do that? Surely another country offering tax breaks alongside all the other ones is somewhere they can start another studio alongside all their other ones to make even more money at?

If they are already active in the UK, where is the incentive for them to stop such a scheme, and if they aren't, where is the incentive for our government to turn down business that isn't even in the country anyway?

Unless it's a UK-based company enjoying foreign tax breaks that's had those threatened by said foreign government, but that's far too much like a conspiracy theory for me.

/b

Re: Report: Global Publisher Killed UK Tax Breaks

Never said it makes sense.

TIGA has been complaining for a while that the UK talent pool has been moving to Canada for jobs. I would think a company there would not like to have that steady stream of talent slow or stop all together. Plus it would be expensive to set up yet another studio in yet another country just to get the tax incentive.

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

Re: Report: Global Publisher Killed UK Tax Breaks

It makes sense to me in one case.  If the company in question has no assets in the UK.  Then it's in their best interest to want it to cost more to run a games company in places where they aren't doing so.  In the end it keeps them in a better position by not allowing the playing field to get levelled.

Also higher labour costs means lower salaries, means the best people tend to stay away since they can get paid better elsewhere.

It's shameful behaviour to be sure, but it does make sense.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

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