Former IGDA Boss: Tax Breaks Aren't Everything

May 24, 2011 -

Jason Della Rocca, the former IGDA boss and founder of Perimeter Partners, says that the video game industry needs to start thinking globally and stop worrying about local and regional advantages such as tax breaks. The elephant in the room was Canada's tax breaks and how various territories in the Great White North are pealing studios away from the United Kingdom.

Speaking to GameIndustry.biz at the Nordic Game Festival earlier this month, Della Rocca talked at length about tax-breaks and why they are such a small part of a larger eco-system. Della Rocca thinks that chasing tax breaks alone is a waste of energy.

"Well you know, look at California," said Della Rocca when asked about Canada's tax breaks. "They have forty percent of the US industry's workforce. There are no incentives there. Do we say that that pooling is cannibalizing the rest of the country? I mean, it absolutely is - people are coming from all over the world to work at the awesome companies there.

So Canada can also be 'blamed' for maybe recreating a bit of that through the incentives and the job creation demand, but my sense is that it's more rhetoric. 'Look at Canada and all they've done!' Can we actually look at the people and see how many people actually left and went to Canada? I don't get the sense that it's planes full of UK developers.

So are they stealing those people? I don't know. Maybe, but I don't really know. It'd be interesting to look at those numbers and see what sort of effect it has. I'm much more thinking in a global perspective. Although I may help specific governments grow their industry in their country, I want to see the industry be healthy on a global basis. So personally I don't care if you go from one country to another or not."

Della Rocca believes that tax breaks are not as important as an environment that establishes important necessities such as education, infrastructure and the talent that an industry requires.

"The tax-break issue... It's not about the tax-breaks alone. When I talk about the industry I talk about an eco-system kind of metaphor. It's very dynamic, it's a complex system, there's lots going on, it's not clear that introducing a tax-break is going to be the thing that all of a sudden makes your ecosystem thrive.

In fact there are regions where there's nothing - it's a desert. So you say, we have this desert and we'd really like there to be a game industry there because we think it's sexy and good jobs etc. So they look at Canada and say, well, they're doing so well because they have these tax-breaks, let's put a tax-break in our desert."

Della Rocca goes on to say that the UK games industry has a better chance of educating and engaging its membership than it does getting tax relief passed by politicians. He also says that you can't put tax relief in a region that has no talent or structure and expect good results. In his view, the UK should have spent its energy on business acumen and educating developers and publishers on new digital distribution methods and platforms.

In closing he says that trade groups, such as TIGA, don't always focus on what they should:

"Recently, I think in the last few months, TIGA announced some digital distribution training seminar. Great - but they should have done that three years ago. Had they done that three years ago, again, pure speculation, imagine they'd been talking to the UK studios and entrepreneurs and start-ups then. If they'd got started on these platforms three years ago? To me, that would have had much more impact than if they had won tax breaks."

Source: GameIndustry.biz


 
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Michael ChandraI don't like bullying anymore than you do, and yes, I think you're petty. Not commenting on the sob part, because I don't know your mother and don't see why I'd insult her.10/22/2014 - 10:02am
quiknkoldif that makes me petty, then I guess I'm one petty sob10/22/2014 - 8:48am
quiknkoldwell I'm sorry Conster, Having my skull smashed in when I was 14 made me skeptical to apologies when it comes to Bullying regardless of the platform its given. I guess Bullies beat the sympathy out of me.10/22/2014 - 8:47am
ConsterOn an unrelated note, I'm missing a "heck if I know" option on the poll.10/22/2014 - 8:33am
ConsterIf someone offends a bunch of people on twitter, they should apologize on twitter, and not accepting said apology because it's "only" on twitter is petty.10/22/2014 - 8:22am
BillThe first link is 4 days old, I didn't see it until today.10/22/2014 - 8:19am
BillJust posting them for the record since they have become part of the GG narrative.10/22/2014 - 8:17am
Billhttp://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/21/Incredibly-GamerGate-is-winning-but-you-won-t-read-that-anywhere-in-the-terrified-liberal-media10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillOh yeah, http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/10/17/Supporting-GamerGate-Does-Not-Make-You-a-Bully10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillThere are now two pro GG articles on Breitbart today, one by James Fudge's favorite "quotes out of context" writer Milo. Amazingly Milo claims GG is winning.10/22/2014 - 8:13am
quiknkoldhavent seen any apologies from the "Other Side" except from Boogie, and he made a video, and I saw him give his apology and I accepted it.10/22/2014 - 8:03am
Michael ChandraWhich usually is "the guy is an ass and I don't really believe it, but fine, benefit for the doubt THIS time and no second chances."10/22/2014 - 7:58am
Michael ChandraI'll accept his apology for something that, no matter whether a joke or serious is way out of line, just as much as I accept apologies from others.10/22/2014 - 7:57am
Michael ChandraRefusing to accept an apology that is done through the same medium and does not sound horribly half-assed is just plain childish.10/22/2014 - 7:56am
Michael ChandraPeople on 'both' sides of the debate have screwed up and apologized without such acts. Where's your criticism on the other side?10/22/2014 - 7:56am
E. Zachary KnightReason posted the second part of their GamerGate story: http://reason.com/archives/2014/10/22/gamergate-part-2-videogames-meet-feminis/10/22/2014 - 7:51am
quiknkoldagain, I dont accept any apology when I cant see their face when they give it to me. He needs to do a video, or do something positive like charity or whatever.10/22/2014 - 7:15am
Michael ChandraBut that's the case with every apology, isn't it?10/22/2014 - 5:57am
Michael ChandraDon't get me wrong. The guy from Gawker screwed up, and he acknowledged that and apologized. Whether people believe him is a second thing.10/22/2014 - 5:57am
Michael ChandraTranslation: "We screwed up but are denying it by saying we don't support groups that bully despite us doing exactly what such a group wanted us to do."10/22/2014 - 5:51am
 

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