In response to "Wandering Stars" from The Escapist Forum: This "A-Team of video-game design" sounds awesome. Makes me wonder how much better the quality of games would be if they were an international organization. Or are they? I seriously can't get it out my head that it's just four guys speeding around in a van to save the day from poor video-game concepts.
In response to "Leveling the Playing Field" from The Escapist Forum: At some point the tax break is, like the silver bullet reference, just a symbol for people. Even if the ultimate benefits are negligible it helps people feel like they're doing a good job and that the country they're in does care and support them. More substantive than a gift basket, less useful than a scholarship program for the computer sciences.
Every bit counts I guess.
In general tax breaks are bad under these circumstances, as the article pointed out along with tax breaks come a demand that the goverment[sic] be given an increasing say in what is produced. This leads to more censorship when we're already having trouble getting violence, and sexual content through the process unmolested. Not to mention the fact that attention-whoring nitwits are trying to bring racial issues into games and nearly EVERY game from Drakensang to Resident Evil 5 to Street Fighter IV has has at least a mild accusation of racism thrown at it in the last few years. Tax breaks of course means that the same overblown standards of political correctness that apply to other media (and oftentimes ruin it as many have criticized) will be applied to games.
Drakensang for example got the question about "where are all the black folks" in a game loosely based on ancient Germany... and this despite the prescence[sic] of an Arabic race of Spellcasters (playable). This leading to a discussion on at least one forum about "how dark someone needs to be to be black" and whether deep urban slang and an attitude is needed for it to not be a racist depiction. Detracting of course from any discussion about the game itself.
The goverment gets involved, and next thing you know we've got Fifty Cent stomping around the ancient world, firing his crossbow sideways "Gangsta style" despite the obvious implausible technique that would imply... Laugh if you want, and even think that the stereotype above is in it's own way racist. HOWEVER that is exactly where things are going to go with video game "affirmitive[sic] action" which is going to come about with goverment involvement at least in the US (and I can assume the same would apply in Europe if they adapted to the same standards).
As far as the industry succeeding, well it comes down to the fact that the corperate[sic] process has never been good at producing original works. That takes the "bedroom coders" so to speak. As more money is involved corperations are less likely to take risks, but the longer they keep spewing out the same stuff the more they need those risks to be taken. The problem is compounded when YESTERDAY's "bedroom coder", long since out of viable ideas, has an office and is defending his job against the young turks, and uses his reputation to turn out mediocre product after mediocre product with the company figuring "ahh well, he's breaking even, maybe genius will strike again".
Letting the current game companies fall is ultimatly[sic] good for the game industry. The demand will still be there, it will simply mean new companies will rise to replace them, with their own generation of "Bedroom programmers" providing the inspiration. Propping up the game industry just means more people buying the GRAQ/Unreal/Havoc engines, reskinning them, and turning out more and more derivitive[sic] crud.
What an incredibly biased article!
Della Rocca is American, and most American's think any tax breaks is the dastardly road to a socialist state (cf: Therumancer's inaccurate and ill informed raving above)
There are no facts, figures or direct quotes in the article at all, just a vague reference to some survey.
And where's the counterpoint? Where's mention of the positive things tax breaks supply to an industry? Where's the argument of the cultural dominance of the USA and how tax breaks can support varied cultures and smaller studios?
Editor's note: Jason Della Rocca is a Canadian, born in Montreal.