Ontario Increases Tax Credits For Game Developers

Ontario Increases Tax Credits For Game Developers

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The government of Ontario, Canada, is offering a more favorable taxation environment for game developers in its most recent budget, hoping to attract new growth to the province's interactive media industry.

The Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit has been extended until 2012, and developers in the province have also had the eligibility period for claiming the credit extended for two to three years. Larger companies will also see their tax rebate on "fee-for-service" work increased to 25 percent, up from a previous level of 20 percent. An additional $7 million in funding for the Interactive Digital Media Fund was also announced.

"The McGuinty government has sent a clear signal that they are bullish about the opportunities for the Ontario interactive media industry. Sectors like videogames, mobile and e-learning are poised for rapid growth and require this kind of support to fuel the massive demands of innovation and growth," said Ian Kelso, CEO of provincial trade association Interactive Ontario.

"Ontario has a real opportunity to build a world class creative cluster that is tuned to the massive economic transformations occurring globally in media and content industries," he continued. "We have the talent, the infrastructure and the entrepreneurial acumen. With this announcement we are pleased to enhance our toolkit that can leverage investment."

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Thanks for posting that; I'd missed it with the whole budget coverage avalanche.

Heck, this has got to be a better way to build the economy than giving yet more money to the Big Three automakers so they can try (and fail) to give away yet more cars at 0% financing.

-- Steve

Interesting point. The automotive industry in Ontario may not be dying in the strictest sense, but it's certainly shifting. A friend of mine works at Ford Talbotville, and I know a couple others who have taken buyouts recently; I know another person who works at the Toyota plant (I think it's Toyota) in Cambridge. He's paid very well for what he does, but they don't throw the cash around like Ford does, and my Talbotville friend has told me the plant seems to be in something of an ongoing survival mode: Layoffs, attempted pay cuts, reduced shifts, that sort of thing. It's ugly.

So yes, it is good to see the province taking steps to move toward non-traditional but lucrative industries like game development. I think it's clear that a lot of this stems from a certain amount of Quebec envy, where through the benefit of luck or good planning the videogame industry is already thriving; and if Quebec can do it, then surely anyone can.

What I find interesting is the potential conflict between encouraging game developers to set up shop, and then calling out their products as possibly harmful to minors. Admittedly, we haven't seen that yet, Canada seems pretty content to just roll along with whatever the ESRB does, but I wonder what would happen if the McGuinty government ever got it in their heads that games were turning our kids into killers.

 

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