EA Urges Utah to offer Game Industry Tax Breaks

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

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  1. 0
    airford says:

    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.

  2. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    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:


    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

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  3. 0
    lordlundar says:

    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.

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