The Power of Tax Breaks in Ontario's Technology Corridor

August 19, 2011 -

Members of Ontario's "Technology Corridor" attended Gamescom in Cologne, Germany to show their support for the culture, work ethic and incentives the Canadian region provides to developers. Over the past two years, Canada's gaming industry has expanded 11 percent annually and is forecasted to grow 17 percent in each of the next two years. Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor were at Gamescom to demonstrate the province's "winning combination" of talent and tax credits. Canada is one of the world's top three game producing nations, mostly due to its hard sell to developers in other regions in the world.

"Ontario continues to offer the talent and the financial incentives that make this region such a strong part of the digital entertainment industry," said Larry MacKinnon, Director of Business Development for Technology in London Ontario and member of the Ontario Technology Corridor. "Our job at Gamescom is to add to our tremendous home-grown crop of companies and help demonstrate that Ontario is a prime destination in North America for gaming investments."

The power of the region is a combination of Federal and Ontario provincial research and development tax credits that gives developers and tech companies what the group calls "the most favorable tax treatment among G-8 countries." This allows Ontario companies the ability to cut R&D expenditures by up to 63 percent.

The group highlighted a few of the companies that are taking advantage of tax breaks and incentives in the region including Arkadium Inc., who opened an office in Toronto in July of this year and plans to produce ten new games in the next 12 months; Gameloft Inc., who began hiring 205 people for a new Toronto gaming studio; Silicon Knights Inc., who announced in July plans to double its staff by adding 80 new jobs; and Morro Images Inc. (a sister firm to Morro Images of Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany), who is working with Silicon Knights as Morro Images expands their current visual effects operation in St. Catharines. Other companies that are part of the Ontario Technology Corridor include Ascension CrossMedia, Ubisoft, Drinkbox Studios, Fuel Industries and Magmic Games.

This week Ontario and Cisco inked a deal for major expansions to its Ottawa and Toronto facilities. Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers said that "Ontario has long been globally recognized as a centre of excellence for IT innovation," adding that "both the Province and Cisco share a dynamic vision for building on the substantial IT R&D capability resident here and we see a key opportunity to join forces to further Ontario’s innovation machine."

"Ontario is well positioned to compete with other jurisdictions who are trying to attract gaming firms and we have a lot to offer -- that will be one of my message at the conference," said Darius Basarab, Senior Business Development Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Ontario's lead agency for provincial incentives in digital media is the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). To date the OMDC IDM Fund has contributed $7.7 million to 76 projects with budgets totaling $32.7 million and continues to offer the following incentives:

- Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit: refunds 35-40 percent of eligible production costs

- Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit: refunds 20 percent of labor costs

- OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund: up to $150,000 in project production funding, up to a maximum of 50 percent of the project budget.

Ontario's entertainment and creative cluster employs nearly 300,000 while contributing $12.2 billion to the province's GDP. In addition, 22 Ontario colleges and universities produce 18,000 graduates per year from 174 specialized digital media programs including 3D animation, film studies, advanced computer programming, math, and hardware engineering.

Canada's federal corporate income tax rate will fall from 18 percent in 2010 to 15 percent by 2012 -- less than half of the top U.S. federal marginal corporate income tax rate, and the lowest in the G7 plus the lowest R&D costs in the G7, with a 12.9 percent advantage over the U.S. Canada also has the world's soundest banking system according to the World Economic Forum.

For more information about the Ontario Technology Corridor, check out www.ontariotechnologycorridor.com.


 
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Andrew EisenThe humor reminds me a lot of Axe Cop.05/29/2015 - 1:37am
WymorenceOh sweet god, Kung Fury is freaking awesome...05/28/2015 - 10:03pm
E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
Andrew EisenHey, remember Kung Fury? That short film that was funded via Kickstarter a few years ago? You can watch it now. I suggest you do. It's fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg05/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Goth_SkunkOriginally, yes. Some content was cut out in order to reduce its ratign from AO down to M, but PC users could work around that an unlock the full content by means of a patch. Which is what I did. :D05/28/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Yes, for strong sexual content. Although the recent remaster contains all that content and was rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenDepends on if you consider Hatred misrated. I haven't played the game or seen the ESRB's rating summary so I'm undecided.05/28/2015 - 3:53pm
WonderkarpDidnt Fahrenheit have an AO?05/28/2015 - 3:52pm
Matthew Wilson@AE that is why I said it seems more moral panic to me.05/28/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - From what I've seen (just the trailers) the game is nowhere near as gory as many, many other games. But again, I'm guessing the AO rating comes from theme and tone rather than outright gore.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenKarp - It didn't show penetration or nudity.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
WonderkarpI'd say Mortal Kombat X has more Gore and Violence than Hatred.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhat I mean by worse in this case its not more gory/violent than others.05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
WonderkarpI forget....did Hot Coffee actually show Penetration?05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
Andrew EisenKarp - The Skyrim mods are external mods. The Hot Coffee mod unlocked content on the disc. Big difference. Still, the content that was unlocked was still perfectly in line with an M rating in my opinion.05/28/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew EisenThemes are factored into ratings, not just mechanics. Still waiting for ESRB's rating summary. Very curious to see what it has to say.05/28/2015 - 3:46pm
Matthew WilsonHatred is a top down shooter though, and isnt any worse than other top down shooters?05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Wonderkarpyeah, San Andreases rerating was ridiculous. Why not rerate Skyrim with all its crazy sex mods out there? But yeah, ESRB is good as policing itself. 05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
 

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