EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

July 22, 2010 -

On Wednesday, surrounded by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and other state and local officials, Electronic Arts executives had a "grand opening" of its offices in Salt Lake City to much applause. The office has actually been running in Salt Lake for three months, but this grand celebration allowed the public to get a look inside EA's new operation. The 20,000-square-foot office serves as a base to develop and manufacture games featuring pet and Nerf guns toys for children and families as part of an agreement it signed with Hasbro.

But after the ceremonial "grand opening," EA took the opportunity to strongly urge Utah lawmakers to give the videogame industry more tax incentives on par with what it currently gives the film industry. EA government affairs director Craig Hagan led the charge, saying that in other parts of the country, like Texas and Florida, and in Canada's Vancouver and British Columbia, governments are offering rebates on corporate income taxes of up to 42 percent to companies like EA.

"We're not competing with traditional brick-and-mortar business in Main Street," he said. "We're competing against other digital media companies across the world."

Hagan also said that the average wage for a game-industry employee is $92,000 a year and that the industry is larger than money generated from Hollywood films and music combined, bringing in about $20 billion worldwide every year.

Members of the Governor's Office of Economic Development said that some incentives are available to businesses like EA but the company did not use them. Gov. Gary Herbert added that Utah has been ranked highly among states in terms of places to work and places to start technology companies. Legislators at the party said that no incentive programs for the technology sector are on the table at this point in time, but they were willing to listen to EA executives about the issue.

Source: Desert News, Image Credit: Jason Olson


Comments

Re: EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

Don't see it happening. Utah is effectively run by groups like the Eagle Forums and Mormon groups that are bent on getting all games declared the "spawn of Satan". Trying to encourage game development there is not likely to happen.

Re: EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

But this EA branch is developing and manufacturing "games featuring pet and Nerf guns toys for children and families". Edge-y this is not, it knid of feels like a peace offering.

 

And unrelated, don't sue me Tim Langdell.

Re: EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

I resent that remark. As a Mormon, I can tell you that we do not seek banning games of any nature. Are there members of our church that feel that way? Yes. But they do not represent the views of the Church.

I am linking the official stance on media consumption of our church:

http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,30-1-7-7,00.html

The relevent part is here:

Our Heavenly Father has counseled us as Latter-day Saints to seek after "anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" ... Don't attend or participate in any form of entertainment, including concerts, movies, and videocassettes, that is vulgar, immoral, inappropriate, suggestive, or pornographic in any way.

No where does it state that we should seek to ban what we consider offensive.

So once again, don't let a few people who do not represent that actual views of our church cloud your judgement of our church.

As for the second part of your comment, EA already has a studio in Utah and have been there for years. There are several other small and largish studios there as well.

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

 
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TechnogeekIn large part, though, that's an extension of the level of unjust deference given to police in general. Kind of hard to find any real grievances to defend against when the organizational culture views "complains about coworker" as worse than "murderer".07/07/2015 - 8:45pm
TechnogeekThat's a police union.07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
TechnogeekNo, police unions are worse by far. Imagine every negative stereotype about unions, then add "we can get away with anything".07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: No, I do not agree they are union members.07/07/2015 - 7:48pm
E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
 

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