- This topic has 17 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
December 5, 2007 at 3:46 pm #6409AnonymousInactive
December 5, 2007 at 4:19 pm #39530AnonymousInactive
I am speaking out of ignorance here but doesnt the article say we cant copy Canada as we are part of the EU and it wont allow it? Don’t we already give tax cuts to software & hardware companies? Why hasnt the EU thrown up a fit over that?
December 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm #39531AnonymousInactive
i may actually start reading things properly:P
December 5, 2007 at 4:48 pm #39532AnonymousInactive
i may actually start reading things properly:P[/quote:aa86d7bde9]
did you just cut and paste to appear all knowledgeable and ramp up your post count by one :)
December 5, 2007 at 5:03 pm #39533AnonymousInactive
no i tought it was an intrestin topic to put up i glanced thru it at first as ai do to everythin and have a proper read of it a while later
December 5, 2007 at 7:12 pm #39537AnonymousInactive
i may actually start reading things properly:P[/quote:3017e27a27]
LOL chancer ;), not to worry, it is an interesting topic, was interested to see if anyone knew the answer to this? And does anyone know what kind of incentives are currently being offered by the government here?
December 5, 2007 at 7:20 pm #39538AnonymousInactive
thats what i wanted to see what peoples here think aboot it
December 6, 2007 at 2:38 am #39541AnonymousInactive
I think the French govt were trying to offer tax cuts to keep their game developers from fleeing to the french-speaking, tax-cut-giving games hubs of Canada.
and I think the E.U. said "nein."
Also, I think there are similar talks happening at the moment to keep Crytek from heading further East, via the Germans trying to offer tax cuts, but again, the E.U. says "nein."
I know Australia has been trying to get development studios tax cuts like film companies get, but they are meeting a lot of resistance.
But yes, Ireland should absolutely, somehow, manage to copy Canada.
I think we need someone like Michael O’Leary to take up that mantle, he seems to be able to get things done when it comes to E.U. regulations…
December 6, 2007 at 12:10 pm #39547AnonymousInactive
Well, the french working laws are too good to workers that Blizzard has decided to move their entire european department over to here, although I suppose that says less about their business laws and more about our lack of employee protection.
Maybe if they manage to drive the amount of money they need to pay us down to below minimum wage and eliminate our need for sleep, food and possibly air then we will be able to attract some more companies.
December 6, 2007 at 12:30 pm #39552AnonymousInactive
ah if Blizzard are coming over here hopefully me cusin will come with them:D
December 6, 2007 at 6:06 pm #39559AnonymousInactive
Blizzard has decided to move their entire european department over to here[/quote:7d0d81ca39]
I know they have tech support in Dublin ya? And they are making one in Cork as well afaik. Is that all their work force in europe? they have no development studio on this side of the world?
I think the French govt were trying to offer tax cuts to keep their game developers from fleeing to the french-speaking, tax-cut-giving games hubs of Canada.[/quote:7d0d81ca39]
Again don’t we have tax cuts for the software & hardware companies? How can we do it and not them? and if we can why not extend it further…
December 6, 2007 at 6:35 pm #39561AnonymousInactive
Considering the significant benefits to companies making games in Canada, many have set up a studio or base there. EA, Ubisoft, Koei, Capcom, and most recently, Eidos, have all opened a Canadian studio.
Capcom International president Midori Yuasa admits that the R&D tax credits were one of the primary reasons for choosing the Greater Toronto Area for its new development studio outside of Japan. The company opened its Canadian arm in June 2006, and is currently working on mobile games, with plans to expand to other platforms. Yuasa said, "Toronto gives us access to a seemingly endless supply of young, talented, entertainment-savvy people, thanks to its colleges and universities. Ontario also offers relatively low business costs, exceptional R&D tax credits that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, and helpful economic-development people to facilitate all aspects of a business startup."
Koei Canada set up shop in central Toronto in 2001, expanded in 2005, and plans to expand even further. Koei Canada’s senior vice president, Hidenori Taniguichi, says the company chose the location because costs are reasonable, and because, "The fact that it’s so multicultural is also an advantage, when, like us, you’re developing games for the world market."
Even more companies are considering opening offices in Canada, or even moving lock, stock, and barrel over there. David Braben, chairman of UK-based Frontier Developments, admits that he is seriously considering a move, which is hardly surprising given his praise of the Canadian model. He told GameSpot, "We’d be foolish not to consider it."
David Braben, chairman of Frontier Developments.
Although Blitz Games is not considering a move to Canada, due to practical reasons–"many of our staff have put down roots here"–the company is outsourcing more and more. Philip Oliver, the company’s CEO, told GameSpot, "It would be far too difficult and impractical to move abroad. However, we are already slowing UK recruitment and increasing outsourcing to other countries. Effectively, we are going to be creating jobs in other countries that could have been here."
Darius Basarab, senior business consultant for Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, thinks this would be a shame. He said, "There’s a lot of creativity in Britain. You see it in music. You see it in movies. You see it in the sheer volume of documentaries the BBC puts out–there’s so much creative material there. And I think it would be a shame if that creativity was not applied to something like video games, and it sort of got lost in the shuffle." He added that he believed this was currently a "real danger" in Britain.
GIVING GAMES A POSITIVE SPIN
Basarab believes that in Canada, the games industry has achieved a level of recognition and respect that it is not currently afforded in other countries. He explained that having big multinational companies such as EA set up shop in the country has helped achieve recognition by providing jobs, boosting the industry’s profile, and feeding into the economy. He said, "It’s more acceptable here than it is anywhere else. But it took us 10 years to get this far."
Basarab believes that the games industry in countries like the UK needs to promote itself better. He said, "I don’t see many self-promotion papers or anything that says it’s the fastest-growing industry and it’s a clean industry. I mean, video games are very, very clean, it’s not like you’re brewing chemicals or blowing things up." He continued, "There are games for the elderly. There are simulation games. There are children’s games. There is all this good stuff, which is actually a larger percentage than the violent stuff, but all you hear about is the violent stuff." He concluded that in some ways, it was up to the games industry itself to put a different spin on the popular view of games, and applauded Nintendo for being one of the companies already taking a proactive stand in doing this.
Fred Hasson, CEO of Tiga, a UK trade association that represents the businesses and commercial interests of game developers, agrees. He said, "One problem, and this is not the government’s fault, is that the games industry is still perceived as, for lack of a better word, ‘dodgy,’ so that the Daily Mail and all its propensity to paint games as all violent and depraved entertainment puts the government off from doing anything visible."
Fred Hasson, CEO of Tiga.
It’s not all about the money. A big part of the Canadian success story is the way that the industry and universities maintain a continuous dialogue. Basarab believes this communication is essential, especially in such a fast-paced working environment as video games, where the technology and console formats are constantly changing. He said, "The feedback mechanism in Ontario is extremely strong. There is a dedicated group of people in the Ministry of Education that get up in the morning and all they do is collect feedback from the industry and try to make a connection with universities to make sure that whatever the universities are teaching is actually applicable."
Furthermore, private-sector companies can also get in touch with universities directly and meet to discuss particular needs, new courses that would be useful to them, and skills needed in their marketplace. He said, "That discussion is welcomed and it’s encouraged. It’s an open discussion and if there’s enough people asking for the same skill, schools will change on a dime. They will actually implement those programs."
Braben believes that, unfortunately, the opposite is the case currently in the UK, where he thinks the majority of games courses are hideously out of date. "One of the things that is very worrying is there are over 80 games courses in Britain, and the sad thing is they aren’t really teaching what we need for games at the moment. They are teaching where we were five or 10 years ago… The reality is that it is not a fast track to a career in games."
Hasson agrees. He said, "There is an acute problem in the supply of suitably skilled personnel, and a recent government-funded report showed that only 25-30 percent of ‘games’ graduates actually get jobs in the industry."
A job board in a Canadian university.
Basarab also believes that the Canadian university system helps get graduate students in the first place by providing a more realistic fee model than in other countries. He says, "It’s very generous. The great majority of tuition is basically subsidised by the government. I think you’re paying CA$3,000 to CA$4,000 ($3,000 to $4,000) a year in total. It’s definitely not like in the US where you have to pay $40,000 to $50,000."
WHEN I HEAR THE WORD CULTURE, I REACH FOR MY GUN
Currently, France is awaiting a European Commission judgment to see if a gaming-industry tax-credits system–already approved by the French government–can be implemented in France, or whether it goes against the same EU rules that limit state aid. These tax credits would be based on a "cultural test," which will mean that tax credits can be given for any game deemed to have cultural significance to France, to be quintessentially French. In the UK, a similar system currently exists for the film industry.
However, the UK’s ELSPA has rejected this approach. When contacted by GameSpot, ELSPA confirmed this, but declined to comment on the reasons behind the plan’s rejection.
Andy Eades, development director of Relentless Software, is one person who is not impressed by the intended "cultural" restraints. He says, "What makes a game British? Lara Croft is British. The Getaway is set in London. Apple’s product designer is British. It seems that the government can’t figure out what being British is, so how are we supposed to get that one right? If it means ‘niche,’ and ‘won’t sell globally,’ then it’s an obvious nonstarter."
Andy Eades, development director at Relentless Software.
Instead, some developers think that the tax-credits system should be made EU-wide, and the cultural element removed. Philip Oliver from Blitz says, "Cultural grants would be a way of helping the UK compete in a fast-changing world, but not in isolation." Developers are also keen to point out that the industry is one that has huge investment potential, rather than one that needs help, and that tax credits are needed to grow the industry, not to help it survive.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
It’s obvious that Canada’s cunning plan to entice the games industry onto its shores is working, and that other countries need to act if they want to keep up. Aside from the monetary perks given to game companies in Canada, there are a variety of other benefits that are offered to them. They are taken seriously as an industry, they are given help setting up shop and settling in, and dialogue is encouraged between them and universities, which ensures that students are learning things that are actually relevant to working in the industry.
Switzerland, which is not a full member of the EU, has been heralded by some as another country that might embrace tax breaks and a progressive view of the gaming industry. Electronic Arts has set up an office, its international publishing headquarters, in Geneva, and other companies are expected to follow suit.
Despite the good efforts of trade bodies such as Tiga and the Game Developer’s Association of Australia, and the substantial contributions to the economies that the games industry makes, the governments in Australia and Britain seem to consider nurturing their games industries as a low priority. This shows that games obviously have a way to go to overcome the perception problem they have, even though the contribution the industry makes to the economy is at least now being acknowledged. The question is–by the time politicians in countries outside of Canada start looking to the future and taking new industries like gaming seriously, will it be too late for them to compete? [/quote:cb9894b406]
theres part two of the article
December 6, 2007 at 7:21 pm #39562AnonymousInactive
Sounds like a great opportunity for the government in Ireland to do something, before other European countries do. I hope they dont have the same prejudices as the gov in England..
December 6, 2007 at 8:47 pm #39563AnonymousInactive
I was a bit shocked the last night when I heard that some students are suggesting an increase in the tax on games. If you want to have a look then see http://www.independent.ie/todayspaper/business/awardwinning-students-are-finance-ministers-for-a-day-1238311.html A small number of Irish based games companies have been able to access BES funding. The other lucky ones have managed to be acquired by larger corporates. If we really want to kick start the industry then tax breaks would help to attract FDI. The Irish Film Industry seems to have been thrown a lifeline (sorry about the film industry reference ) via the extension of tax breaks. This allows series such as Tudors which is bringing in about Euro 30 million to Irish Film industry. Thats about the budget needed to develop a major title. So I wish more students would lobby for tax breaks for the industry and not try to put the brakes on!.
December 6, 2007 at 11:15 pm #39566AnonymousInactive
Funds raised through this initiative would be directed towards getting young couch potatoes up and moving, while the abolition of VAT on school sports equipment would help to tackle childhood obesity[/quote:58657f7b15]
WTF! I wonder what they do with their freetime….. sports? mmm
Seems these kids have about as much business sense as…. me :D
January 9, 2008 at 6:00 pm #39832AnonymousInactive
As someone mentioned above the EU doesn’t allow for tax breaks UNLESS the product can demonstrate a strong cultural element. I think the French are counting on the fact that all French developed games have a strong French cultural bias (their graphics are Purple and their isn’t much game play). Yet to see if the EU will accept that. UPDATE: Seems they have http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4195
Outside of tax breaks there is ERDF (European Regional Development Funds) which are used to build industry/employment in areas hit by the failure of old manufacturing industries. These funds can only be spent in areas designated as "crap" or "very crap" (aka Objective two or Objective one). The UKs East Midlands screen agency (EM-Media – em-media.org.uk) is currently using ERDF funding to invest into video game proto-typing and development in the East Midlands. I don’t know if any other areas are currently using these funds to support games development.
January 9, 2008 at 6:38 pm #39833AnonymousInactive
But Dell as well as many other software companies got tax breaks and cuts when they started up here. So obviously there is a space maneuver or was at any rate.
January 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm #39864AnonymousInactive
But Dell as well as many other software companies got tax breaks and cuts when they started up here. So obviously there is a space maneuver or was at any rate.[/quote:a3cba51925]Ireland’s corporate tax breaks (and some exemptions) pre-date the EU rulings.
Also, I suspect the kind you are referring to are for multi-nationals relocating some services/manufacturing here which would be quite different than the per-project basis tax breaks/grants Obscure is referring to
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