UK vs. Canada: Why Tax Breaks Matter to the videogame Industry

September 7, 2010 -

In an article called "UK vs. Canada: Do Tax Breaks Build An Industry?" at Gamasutra Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley says that the UK government’s decision not to give tax breaks to the videogame industry is one of the reasons why so many UK studios are slowly setting up shop in Canada.

Though Kingsley said that tax breaks would have been nice to have, his company is coping with the reality that - for now - they are not available.

Richard Wilson, CEO of UK video game trade organization TIGA, is a bit more concerned as he watches companies make a slow exodus to regions in Canada such as Quebec and Ontario, who offer generous tax breaks on labor costs that UK developers can't ignore.

"We are competing with the rest of the world on an uneven playing field," says Wilson. "In 2006, the UK games industry was the third largest in the world in terms of revenue generation; we have since fallen to fifth place."

But TIGA doesn't plan on giving up the fight anytime soon:

"All we can do is continue to make our arguments... and to point out to our government that all of these wonderful investments, all this wonderful creativity that's taking place in other countries, that we're not getting as much of a share as we could be. That's the real tragedy. But I want to emphasize that I do believe we will get games tax relief eventually. It will take a battle but that's a battle we intend to win."

Of course, the longer the UK government waits the more likely we’ll see more UK game companies cross the pond. As one commenter pointed out in the article, gaming is global and it doesn’t really matter where you live – if you can afford to get there. Read the rest of the article at Gamasutra.

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