Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

UK Tax Relief for Video Games


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
34 replies to this topic

#21 0BZEN   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2025

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

The BBC is gonna love this.

Everything is better with Metal.


Sponsor:

#22 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10444

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:46 AM

I don't think it's bad, I just don't like artificially influencing art in any direction other than the artists' intentions. It cheapens the meaning imo.

Your publisher doesn't influence your art in any way? The feelings/desires of your audience doesn't influence your art in any way? The criticism of your peers doesn't influence your art in any way?

You can't create art in a bubble - art is informed and influenced by the world around it. What's one influence more or less?

It's not as if someone is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to create a British game. If your artistic integrity is worth so much, then you are free to fulfill the criteria in other ways (i.e. develop it in Britain, with a British team), or you can refuse the tax break altogether.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#23 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7593

Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:01 AM

A decent write up on the situation as it stands : http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2012/dec/12/developers-tax-credit-legislation

Two key points;
1) This isn't the final draft yet so is likely to change
2) The film industry and the French games industry already operate under rules very much like this

There is also a good point in the last paragraph about WHY the causes are a good thing with regards to how tax money is spent.

#24 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

Your publisher doesn't influence your art in any way?

This is a straw man. The existence of something bad doesn't excuse the existence of something else bad. Sacrifices are usually required when one tries to balance art with financial viability, that doesn't make it an ideal situation.

The criticism of your peers doesn't influence your art in any way?

Do you mean co-workers or people not involved in it's creation? For the former it would imply that I am THE artist rather than us, my coworkers and I, collectively being the artist. The definitely influence my contribution to the art, but collectively we should influence the art only as we collectively intend(in a perfect world anyway).

It's not as if someone is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to create a British game. If your artistic integrity is worth so much, then you are free to fulfill the criteria in other ways (i.e. develop it in Britain, with a British team), or you can refuse the tax break altogether.

I think my point is being misrepresented. I'm not hurt by it, I'm just not a fan of using tax incentives to influence things that have little-no measurable impact on the society. Criticism is not the same as a call to arms.

#25 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5038

Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:19 AM

If the UK is forced to do it this way because of the EU, frankly I don’t get it but that certainly shifts the blame and the dim light. Why does the EU make it this way?

This should be rectified. The EU does in no way impose such a thing on the UK. What the UK is doing here is the same thing that Ireland has been doing for decades: An entirely legal and community-subsidized form of tax fraud. You take EU subventions under some cover (here it is the "culture" cover), and steal the highly competitive, high profit industry leaders from the rest of the community by offering them tax gifts.

Did you ever wonder why virtually every major company in the EU had their "official office" and the entire support division moved to Dublin little over a decade ago? One word: tax.

The only thing you could mock on is the fact that the EU is so stupid as to allow such a thing to happen, but that's just how it is. Similar could proably be said about what's happening with Greece and Spain, but alas, nobody has the balls to drive the hard course that would be necessary.
So it happens that the common man in Greece is still starving, and the rich are still not paying any taxes, and we're putting billions into a bottomless hole (covering banker's gambling debts and subsiding their luxury lives). Same in Spain where people are losing all they own after working for a life time, while the king goes on safari, hunting endangered species (and being proud of it). The only ones who aren't punished are those who lost the people's money.

All in all, it would be much more human to stop all of that, but this isn't how the world works.

#26 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10444

Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:20 AM

(in a perfect world anyway)

We don't live in a perfect world. If we start from the assumption that art can occur in a vacuum, we'll never get anywhere useful.

I'm just not a fan of using tax incentives to influence things that have little-no measurable impact on the society.

Culture has no societal value? I'm fairly sure a couple of cultural preservation organisations would love to disagree with you...

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#27 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:08 PM


(in a perfect world anyway)

We don't live in a perfect world. If we start from the assumption that art can occur in a vacuum, we'll never get anywhere useful.

I never said art occurs or should occur in a vacuum. I said, quite specifically, that it shouldn't sacrifice the artist's intention. In what world are those statements the same?


I'm just not a fan of using tax incentives to influence things that have little-no measurable impact on the society.

Culture has no societal value?

That's not what I said. I chose my words very carefully.

edit: I will clarify though that I mean corporate tax incentives rather than pesonal.

Edited by way2lazy2care, 12 December 2012 - 12:13 PM.


#28 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4819

Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:14 PM

I have no idea how much % in taxes they charge BUT I think its fine. I mean, I'd do the same in my country. That is, as long as they don't artificially impose it on gamedevs (ie, "triplicate taxes for everyone! oh you make a british game? No taxes for you and here is 100k on the house") in a way that no one would be able to make a non UK centered game.

"I AM ZE EMPRAH OPENGL 3.3 THE CORE, I DEMAND FROM THEE ZE SHADERZ AND MATRIXEZ"

 

My journals: dustArtemis ECS framework and Making a Terrain Generator


#29 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10444

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

That's not what I said. I chose my words very carefully.


In response to my assertion that no one is "being forced to make a British game", you said:

I'm just not a fan of using tax incentives to influence things that have little-no measurable impact on the society.


Perhaps I've misinterpreted, but that sounds a lot to me like you are saying that the promotion of British culture through video games will have little impact on society?

Which point I will grant you, on the grounds that video games generally have little impact on society. The promotion of their own culture, on the other hand, I maintain is a core function of any government.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#30 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

Perhaps I've misinterpreted, but that sounds a lot to me like you are saying that the promotion of British culture through video games will have little impact on society?

The difference is that it doesn't have a direct measurable impact. Culture has trickle down/non-tangible impacts that are significant, but as far as tax incentives go I think it would make more sense to promote more tangibles.

The promotion of their own culture, on the other hand, I maintain is a core function of any government.

Perhaps this is where we differ. I view culture proceeding from society. The government represents and governs the society, but the culture is defined by the people moreso than the government that represents it. At least that's what I prefer.

edit: To be clear, on the above I have more of a problem with them trying to define what their culture is/should be (eg: 4 points if the video game depicts a British story or a story which relates to an EEA state) rather than them promoting their culture in whichever direction it should naturally go (eg: you are british and making art, have some tax incentives).

Edited by way2lazy2care, 12 December 2012 - 03:45 PM.


#31 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5499

Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:17 PM

Furthermore, am I the only one who thinks the rest is nothing but payola? “Up to 4 points may be awarded in respect of the contribution of the video game to the promotion […] of British culture.”
How is this not payola?

Sure. It's payola. Like taking a salary is payola.

What it is is the officially recognized administration representing the culture of the British attempting to preserve and promote that culture in a very very culturally-influential market sector. It's not about the industry, the dollars, the accountants. It's about the culture and the people who live it.

I'm not British, but I recognize the attempt to preserve and promote native culture in the face of an overwhelming and market-dominating foreign hegemony. It turns out that not everyone in the world is American or Japanese, and some of them would prefer to stay that way.

The government of my country does such a thing in the music and motion picture industries and to a lesser extent formerly in the written word industries. Yeah, there are a lot of complaints from lawyers and accountants and free-market pundits because evidently someone might not make as big a profit margin if they can't just import cheap foreign wal-mart culture exclusively, but after a few decades we now have have access to local cultural memes in our own homes. The sky didn't fall, the world didn't end, and some people got rich anyway.

I'm ashamed my own government is not doing something similar, considering we have a substantial games-production industry.
Stephen M. Webb
Professional Free Software Developer

#32 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10444

Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:28 PM

edit: To be clear, on the above I have more of a problem with them trying to define what their culture is/should be (eg: 4 points if the video game depicts a British story or a story which relates to an EEA state) rather than them promoting their culture in whichever direction it should naturally go (eg: you are british and making art, have some tax incentives).

Fair enough, I guess.

But they *are* doing the latter (a British team working in Britain qualifies). The fact that they also provide a way for a foreign team operating in Britain to qualify based on cultural elements, is purely a bonus...

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#33 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14423

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:06 PM

Like taking a salary is payola.

Bad example. My money comes from 3 sources: Making video games, acting on TV/movies, and writing books.
I would be doing the same thing whether I was getting paid for it or not. In fact I sometimes don’t receive money after an acting job and I don’t really care—I wanted to do the job; the money is just a bonus. I asked the publisher for permission to write the book because I wanted to write a book.
Money isn’t steering me or in any way putting me into a position in which I must go against my beliefs. Everything I do I do because it is what I want to do and I believe in it. This is not payola. Besides, payola by definition relates specifically to the promotion of something.


What it is is the officially recognized administration representing the culture of the British attempting to preserve and promote that culture in a very very culturally-influential market sector. It's not about the industry, the dollars, the accountants. It's about the culture and the people who live it.

People seem to have very mixed opinions as to why they are doing it/what they are attempting to do.


It turns out that not everyone in the world is American or Japanese

Is this a personal attack on myself for being an American who lives in Japan, or is there an actual reason you randomly chose these 2 countries?
Because whether or not America is pushing its culture is debatable at best, but there is no possible way to claim that Japan, the most isolated and least out-going country in the world, is doing so. Japan especially lives inside its own little bubble. How many Japanese have you ever seen in your life posting on non Japanese forums etc.?

In both cases, neither country is pushing their culture on anyone else. America makes media for itself. Movies/music go outside of America only due to high demand.
Japanese make anime for themselves. They get released outside of Japan because people outside of Japan want to have them. Only America’s “war on terror” makes their cultural push debatable, but that is a separate issue—we are talking about media here.

It’s easy to mistake the worldwide distribution of one nation’s media (which includes video games) for being that country’s cultural push onto other countries, but that isn’t really what is happening.


I'm ashamed my own government is not doing something similar, considering we have a substantial games-production industry.

If you already have a substantial development industry then it is unlikely for your government to promote the growth of said industry—it’s already there.
The goal of this kind of promotion should be to decrease unemployment and increase government revenue from the games sector. Canada doesn’t need this kind of promotion—in fact due to the number of studios there the best thing the government can do (in pursuit of revenue) is to keep the taxes where they are.
If you are talking more specifically about incentives to promote Canada’s culture through video games, that’s only plausible under the veil of the above.


L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
L. Spiro Engine Forums: http://lspiroengine.com/forums

#34 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 901

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:58 AM

Regarding the cultural test in terms of the gameplay - I don't think it's the Government sticking its nose in, anymore than tax is anyway. Yes, there is the problem that "tax breaks for some" is effectively equivalent to "higher tax for others", but I don't think it's inherently a problem.

It would be a problem if the higher tax level became crippling so that developers were effectively forced into making games according to these requirements. But I don't think there's inherently a problem in offering different levels of tax - Governments do this in all kinds of areas, in order to promote things they think are important (e.g., VAT - see the whole biscuit-vs-cake debate).

This is also probably a better way of promoting national culture, than trying to set up a new British-focused tax-funded games company (this works for TV - the BBC - but I can't see it working well for computer games...) But I do agree that there is the risk of doing it by this kind of "points checklist" could lead to absurdities in games...

However, I really dislike the idea of discrimination based on the employees. Immigration is already something that's incredibly strict, and being made stricter for outside the EU. For anyone other than married couples (and even there it's hard these days), it's pretty much impossible for most people, unless the company can show that they can't fill the position with someone in the UK. But it seems distasteful that even if someone does have the legal right to work here, they will find themselves turned down, if some companies are only recruiting British people for the tax breaks.

I might also wonder if this is some way to deter EU immigration too (the EU now has freedom of movement for work, but the new rules specify British people). But it doesn't say what a "qualifying person" actually is?

Edited by mdwh, 13 December 2012 - 09:02 AM.

http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux

#35 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7593

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:00 AM

Another good write up which shows that, even in its current form which is likely to change, it seems to be a positive thing although not without issues; http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/12/13/how-the-new-uk-tax-laws-will-affect-indie-developers/




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS