Senate Majority Leader Attempts to Fast-Track Internet Tax Bill Vote

April 18, 2013 -

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) this week began the process of pushing the Marketplace Fairness Act before the full Senate without making its way through the Senate Finance Committee (mostly because many of the leaders in the committee don't like the bill and would stall it), according to Politico.

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European Commission Investigating UK Game Industry Tax Relief Plan

April 16, 2013 -

During the United Kingdom's March 2012 Budget it looked like plans for tax breaks for video games developers were a lock, but a European Commission (EC) investigation that was announced today has put their future in doubt. The European Commission announced today that it plans to investigate the proposals, and questions whether there is an obvious market failure in the UK games industry.

Specifically the EC is seeking answers to four key questions related to the UK games tax relief plan:

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UK Game Industry Tax Relief Delayed by EU Commission

March 20, 2013 -

Tax relief for the video games industry in the United Kingdom has been delayed because the European Commission was not able to approve the Cultural Test provisions of the plan, according to this GamesIndustry International report. The Cultural Test requires those applying for tax credits to promote the culture of the UK in various ways.

UK games industry trade groups UKIE and TIGA expressed their disappointment in the news, but were optimistic that the government would continue to be committed to tax breaks for games developers.

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Tiga: Abandoned Studios Deserve Tax Relief

March 5, 2013 -

When a publisher leaves a studio high and dry in the United Kingdom, industry trade body Tiga thinks that such abandoned projects should be eligible for tax relief. Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said that publishers have in the past left some studios in the UK “high and dry” by demanding large development teams for extended periods to then cancel a project with little or no notice at all.

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Republicans Inject 'Video Games' Into the Political Discourse on Sequestration

February 22, 2013 -

As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).

The Trouble With Connecticut's Video Game Sin Tax Bill

February 22, 2013 -

An interesting article on The Atlantic examines why sin taxes like the one proposed for video games by Connecticut State Rep. Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) never really do anything productive. You may recall that Hovey, who represents the district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, proposed a 10 percent sin tax on violent video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB.

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Conn. State Representative Proposes Ten Percent Tax on Mature-Rated Games

February 5, 2013 -

The Escapist reports that Connecticut State Representative Debralee Hovey (R-112th District) has introduced H.B. No. 5735, or "an act establishing a sales tax on certain video games." The bill would add a ten percent tax in Connecticut on video games rated "Mature" by the ESRB, which would then be redirected to the State's department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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Missouri State Rep. Proposes One Percent Tax on Violent Video Games

January 15, 2013 -

Missouri State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) put forth a bill on Monday proposing that the state charge a 1 percent tax on "violent video games," with the funds to be used for mental health programs and law enforcement efforts related to the prevention of mass shootings. This tax would apply to games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

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Nevada Lawmakers Defend Take-Two Las Vegas Deal

January 7, 2013 -

As news of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Connecticut were coming to light on December 14, the finishing touches were being put on a deal with the Nevada Economic Development Board and Take-Two Interactive (see Vegas Inc. for the details). This week that deal is being questioned by the media in the state.

UK Conservative Party Launches Video Game Tax Breaks Web Page

January 2, 2013 -

The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom (the Tories) have created a page on its official website detailing the planned implementation of upcoming tax breaks for the region's video games industry. According to the page on the official web site, tax breaks will officially go into effect on April 1. The page goes on to note that the new tax incentives will give a financial boost to the video game industry and "help level the playing field" against other countries already offering breaks for their own video game sectors.

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UK Government Reveals More Details on Games Industry Tax Relief

December 11, 2012 -

The UK government released new details on tax relief it wants to offer the video games industry, as a follow-up to last week's Autumn statement. For starters, the UK government has decided that it will have no minimum spending threshold so that tax relief can be provided to companies of all shapes and sizes. The government came to this conclusion after a lengthy consultation period with developers across the region. The tax relief initiative will come into effect on April 1, 2013.

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House Unanimously Opposes UN's 'Internet Regulations'

December 6, 2012 -

The United States Congress may be a mess and the most unruly and uncompromising bunch in the land but they all apparently think that the UN should not be setting policy on the Internet. To that end, members of the House of Representatives - Democrats and Republicans - voted unanimously (397-0) against the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations' efforts to push "increased government control over the Internet."

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UK Government Proposes Tax Relief for Creative Industries

December 5, 2012 -

Today the UK Government published a document proposing strong support of Chancellor George Osborne's earlier Autumn Statement, which would give qualified games companies tax-relief set at a rate of 25 percent.

"Following consultation on their design, the Government will ensure that the reliefs are among the most generous in the world by offering a payable tax credit for all three reliefs worth 25 per cent of qualifying expenditure," the document read in part.

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Slant Six Games CFO Blames Lack of Government Support for Vancouver Game Industry Decline

November 1, 2012 -

A prominent executive officer at Vancouver-based game developer Slant Six Games says that the Vancouver video game industry in danger of dramatically declining because of the lack of support from the government of British Columbia. CFO Lance Davis blames a lack of investment from the regional government since 2008. He also claims that this lack of support has led to 14,000 job cuts at various game studios in Vancouver. In June of this year Slant Six cut a quarter of its workforce temporarily.

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UKIE, TIGA Offer Suggestions to UK Government's Game Industry Tax Relief Scheme

October 30, 2012 -

UK video game industry trade groups UKIE and TIGA have submitted recommendations for the cultural test that will help the government decide which companies are eligible for tax relief. UKIE and TIGA shared its proposed recommendations with each other so that they could approach the UK government with a "consistent voice" on the topic. In order for a game to qualify for UK tax breaks, it will have to meet the requirements of a points-based test that focuses on "cultural content and contribution." Projects will need more than half marks (at least 16 out of 30) to qualify.

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FCC Backs Off Broadband Internet Tax Proposal

September 10, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission has started backpedaling after a loud and public outcry from rights groups and netizens about their proposal to tax broadband Internet services. Democrat and Republican commissioners at the agency are now pointing fingers at each other for bringing up the hot-button issue in the first place.

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Free Press Fights FCC's 'Broadband Tax' Plan

August 30, 2012 -

In an editorial on Ars Technica internet advocacy group Free Press described the FCC's move to tax broadband as a way to fund broadband infrastructure growth in the U.S. as misguided. Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner says that the proposed $1 - $5 tax on customers would ultimately be turned over to companies like AT&T who have been slowly pulling out of the broadband business anyway.

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Economic Development Corporation of Rode Island Troubles Continue

July 17, 2012 -

The Economic Development Corporation of Rhode Island finds itself highly dysfunctional in the wake of 38 Studios going bankrupt and not being able to meet its obligations related to $75 million loan. The pseudo government-corporate entity has been without an executive director since May when Keith Stokes decided to resign over the loan to 38 Studios. Today we have learned from several published reports that another loan the EDC approved is not going to be paid back and that another executive has resigned.

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Delaware Passes Bill Approving Online Gambling

June 29, 2012 -

The state of Delaware has decided to legalize online gambling today. The Delaware State Senate approved the bill by a 14-6 vote to allow online betting in the state. The next stop for the bill is the desk of Gov. Jack Markell (D) for his signature. With state and local governments seeing growing budgets and shrinking revenue, they have warmed up to the idea of allowing gambling both in their cities and online. The law is the second in the country to approve online gambling on a state level.

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More Details on Rhode Island's 38 Studios Concerns

May 16, 2012 -

Update: A Boston Globe report indicates that 38 Studios founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has asked Rhode Island officials for more money for his company in the private meeting that was held this morning. The newspaper says that board members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation took no action on Schilling’s request. The amount he asked for was not disclosed.

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Rhode Island Governor Intervenes as 38 Studios Struggles to Remain Solvent

May 15, 2012 -

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is probably not having a good week. The studio he founded, 38 Studios, is having serious financial trouble according to several news reports coming out of Rhode Island, and the state is doing what it can to protect the estimated $75 million in investments it spent to lure the studio away from Massachusetts.

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Illinois Judge Rules State Internet Tax Unconstitutional

April 26, 2012 -

In March of last year the state of Illinois decided to pass a law that collected Internet sales tax from online companies like Amazon.com and eBay. Commonly referred to as an "affiliate nexus tax," the law passed by Illinois and other states including California, Connecticut, and New York, required online retailers who advertised on "affiliate sites" that had a physical presence in the same state to collect sales tax. The Illinois law had broad support among lawmakers and the state’s governor, Gov. Pat Quinn (D).

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TIGA Urges UK Government to Reconsider DCMS Elimination

April 23, 2012 -

UK video game industry trade group TIGA is advising the UK government against any plans to abolish the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The recommendation to abolish the DCMS as part of a tax cut package was part of a recent report from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson says that the elimination of the department would save very little money.

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Federal Court Gives Amazon a Win Against Colorado Sales Tax Reporting Law

April 5, 2012 -

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Amazon in a case it filed against the state of Colorado for trying to collect sales tax under a new law. The court found that because the company didn't have a physical presence in the state that Colorado didn't have a right to collect and that its new law ran afoul of the Interstate commerce clause in the Constitution - specifically, legislation forcing out-of-state retailers to report their customers' purchases to the state's tax authority.

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Georgia Senate Approves Bill to Cap Video Game Industry Tax Credits

March 29, 2012 -

The Georgia Senate has voted to limit the amount of the 30 tax credits the video game industry gets to $25 million and to restrict the credit allowed to individual companies to a maximum of $5 million. Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers said that the change allows for funds to spread around to smaller outfits rather than being used up by bigger companies. The new cap is a compromise from the original bill which sought to eliminate the tax credit altogether.

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Quantic Dream CEO: UK Tax Relief Saved UK Game Development Community

March 22, 2012 -

Paris, France-based game development studio Quantic Dream is thankful for yesterday’s announcement that the United Kingdom will offers its development community much-needed tax relief. Quantic Dream CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière went so far as to say that the UK games industry was facing a "tangible risk of collapsing" if the government hadn't intervened. de Fondaumière, who is also the chairman of the European Game Developers Federation, hopes that this will cause other governments in Europe to follow the UK's lead.

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UK Video Game Industry Delighted that Tax Breaks are in New Budget

March 21, 2012 -

Today the British government announced that tax breaks for the video game industry are part of the 2013 budget (thanks beemoh). Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to introduce corporate tax relief beginning in April 2013 for various sectors including video games, animation and high-end television industries. Osborne hopes that these tax breaks will "make the UK the technology centre of Europe."

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Connecticut Senate Bill Aims to Tax Your Video Games and More

March 14, 2012 -

The Connecticut State Senate is considering a bill that would add taxes to digital goods. The "stated purpose of the bill, is "to include digital movies, books, music, ringtones, audio and video works and similar downloadable products as subject to the sales and use tax." If passed, the bill would take effect July 1, 2012, and would apply to sales occurring on or after that date.

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Germany Considers 'Drudge' Tax

March 13, 2012 -

The Washington Times has an opinion piece that takes a shot at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration over what they are calling a proposed "Drudge Tax." The reference is to conservative Matt Drudge's popular web site The Drudge Report, which aggregates news from all over the web. While the flavor of The Drudge Report may not sit well with many, the concern with a new proposal being pushed by Merkel's administration is that it will levy taxes on web sites that aggregate content.

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Sony Accidently Overcharges Account Holders Sales Tax

February 25, 2012 -

One of our readers (who wishes to remain anonymous) passed along an email from Sony Entertainment Network customer service on Friday saying that the company had accidently overcharged them sales tax related to the period between November 18, 2010 and April 11, 2011. While his email noted that they overcharged him by 0.06 cents, we have seen at least one other email saying that the company overcharged a customer by $9.24.

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Will the FCC preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband services?:

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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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