EU Ban of Videogame Tax Breaks Imminent

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EU Ban of Videogame Tax Breaks Imminent

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Ubisoft and Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream consider a move to Canada if the ban is upheld.

The European Union has a law stating individual countries cannot place discounts for certain industries within its borders, ostensibly so that nations couldn't try to poach companies from each other by offering sweet deals. Back in 2007, the French videogame industry was given a pass on this ban because it keeps game companies in Europe instead of overseas. The exception expires in 2012, and game companies like Ubisoft are scrambling to make sure it gets an extension. If it doesn't go through, you might see more studios relocate to Canada, where the tax breaks flow like maple syrup.

"The abandonment of this flagship measure, which brings hope to a large number of European studios and which has demonstrated its effectiveness in France, would be an historic mistake," said Guillaume de Fondaumiere, CEO of Quantic Dream, makers of Heavy Rain.

"We would like to point out that this French measure has not caused any distortion in competition within the EU," he continued before pointing out that if the tax breaks ceased, France could see its videogame developer workforce shrink considerably.

All current game deals in France are still in place - most of them offering a 20 percent refund on production costs - but no company would be able to apply for new credits if the scheme isn't upheld by the EU. Apparently, the decision rests in the hands of Wouter Pieke, the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, in Brussels, Belgium.

Here's an idea: Someone send Wouter a few waffles and chocolate. Belgians love that stuff. Maybe he'll look kindly upon videogame development if he was in a better mood.

Source: Develop

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Now I'm no conservative Euro-sceptic, but the EU are getting more and more irritating by the second.

Canada would love to have you!

We were talking about the EU in my political geography lecture Monday, and how it's odd that lots of the EU governing power is seated in Germany. How no one found it odd that Germany tried twice to take over Europe via war, and yet the EU parliament is situated there (along with it's financial headquarters) with plans to eventually just make the EU one big nation-state instead of a glorified trade agreement.

So let me pose this question, did Germany somehow legally take over Europe and not a single damned person noticed? Because that would be really, really funny.

OT: Maybe they should make attempts to foster at least some economic competition between it's members. Couldn't hurt considering the financial meltdown they seem to find themselves in.

KeyMaster45:
We were talking about the EU in my political geography lecture Monday, and how it's odd that lots of the EU governing power is seated in Germany. How no one found it odd that Germany tried twice to take over Europe via war, and yet the EU parliament is situated there (along with it's financial headquarters) with plans to eventually just make the EU one big nation-state instead of a glorified trade agreement.

So let me pose this question, did Germany somehow legally take over Europe and not a single damned person noticed? Because that would be really, really funny.

The EU Parliament isn't in Germany. And uh... how do you think a Parliament works? The US congress isn't comprised solely of people from Washington just because that's where its held.

OT: If they want to band the EU nations together then it'd make sense to be competitive against nations OUTSIDE of the EU.

Well, I live in Canada, so I wouldn't mind laying out a welcome mat for them all if they came here.

They French certainly have cheek. They demands of the Greeks to increase VAT rate for food and drink from 13pc to 23pc in September, then make special pleading to protect their insignificant games industry.

KeyMaster45:
We were talking about the EU in my political geography lecture Monday, and how it's odd that lots of the EU governing power is seated in Germany. How no one found it odd that Germany tried twice to take over Europe via war, and yet the EU parliament is situated there (along with it's financial headquarters) with plans to eventually just make the EU one big nation-state instead of a glorified trade agreement.

So let me pose this question, did Germany somehow legally take over Europe and not a single damned person noticed? Because that would be really, really funny.

The EU pariament is not in Germany also why do you think the UK manage to irriate the Germans and French so oftenThe main reason is we are there counter balance in the EU and we often clash over desicions.

I agree with the ban as it should be one rule for all EU nations as we have had to balance the field in other industries so it is time the French do the same.Just wish it was that everybody got tax breaks not the other way around.But the playing field definitely has to be balanced out

There argument is more than a little stupid 'please allow us the release on tax breaks else all the developers will move away, and don't worry the tax breaks have no affect on which country a company works in'

Also it's more easy to threaten moving than to actually move. All those developers have lives in France, homes and families, uprooting that might cause problems.

It's tricky. I can see reasons why France might get to be an exception, along with Britain it's the only country that shares a language with a place that might conceivably poach a gaming company. On the other hand, giving the number of small developer etc and people who probably won't move to Canada maybe the EU saves more through not having a tax break than it would gain. It would be very hard for say Germany, to poach US developers and at least this situation stops people just shifting their base across the border of Belgium etc. in which case maybe it should be equality for everyone.

In the end, if companies are failing because they can't cope with the taxes on top of everything else, it should be lowered, if they're still turning a healthy profit than the chances are that you will still have a healthy developing community.

Seeing how 'great' tax break deals work out with international companies, it's a good idea to completely abandon them.

Vagabonding companies should rot in hell.

The EU should keep this policy in place considering it prevents abuse.

Ubisoft are nothing but douche-bags.

Can I ask, when was the last time EU did anything for us?

Are the EU utter idiots to think they can remove tax-breaks to prevent competitive poaching when they fail to realise that just leaves ALL of the EU at huge disadvantage to the rest of the world. This is what the EU was created for, to stand up to the United States but this is FAILING in that capacity!

BrotherRool:

Also it's more easy to threaten moving than to actually move. All those developers have lives in France, homes and families, uprooting that might cause problems.

Didn't EA just fire a load of developers in Canada? Isn't that a massive pool of talent that can make up for the people who would rather say unemployed in Tax-Hell Europe as it is on the brink of a massive economic collapse. Far larger proportions of people have emigrated for more trivial reasons than this.

And remember, they speak French in many parts of Canada so they will to keep speaking that weird language that French people are so attached to (joke).

While most of Ubisoft's workforce is already outside of France, it would be a shame if they felt the need to shut down their own headquarters. Wouter yeah gunna do?

Greg Tito:
Here's an idea: Someone send Wouter a few waffles and chocolate. Belgians love that stuff. Maybe he'll look kindly upon videogame development if was in a better mood.

I hear special brownies and prostitutes are also quite popular over there.

And why do you think we didn't want into the EU?

Spygon:
The EU pariament is not in Germany also why do you think the UK manage to irriate the Germans and French so oftenThe main reason is we are there counter balance in the EU and we often clash over desicions.

I agree with the ban as it should be one rule for all EU nations as we have had to balance the field in other industries so it is time the French do the same.Just wish it was that everybody got tax breaks not the other way around.But the playing field definitely has to be balanced out

Woodsey:
The EU Parliament isn't in Germany. And uh... how do you think a Parliament works? The US congress isn't comprised solely of people from Washington just because that's where its held.

/shrug That's what I get for assuming, seemed logical to stick the man governing body of something in the same general area as the head of it's financial institution.

I know perfectly well how a parliament works also. But that doesn't matter anymore cause my assumption was wrong. Was a poor attempt at pointing out something that could be disastrously funny.

Poisoned Al:
Now I'm no conservative Euro-sceptic, but the EU are getting more and more irritating by the second.

I guess that's part of the problem. Criticism of the EU has become something drawn along party lines rather than something we can all line up in agreeing that on at least SOME matters it's completely wrong.

Instead it becomes a case of "ooooh, well you would say that because you're a conservative" and "I can't agree with the conservatives on anything, conservatives are aweful!"

EU doesn't realise it isn't much harder for a company to move to a country outside the EU than within the EU. So this ban on Tax breaks between EU countries hoping to prevent excessive competition within EU only increases competition with countries outside the EU! EU then just because architects of a massive case of Tall Poppy Syndrome, rather than actually making all the the EU better, it just prevents anyone being better than anyone else within their group.

Treblaine:
Can I ask, when was the last time EU did anything for us?

Are the EU utter idiots to think they can remove tax-breaks to prevent competitive poaching when they fail to realise that just leaves ALL of the EU at huge disadvantage to the rest of the world. This is what the EU was created for, to stand up to the United States but this is FAILING in that capacity!

BrotherRool:

Also it's more easy to threaten moving than to actually move. All those developers have lives in France, homes and families, uprooting that might cause problems.

Didn't EA just fire a load of developers in Canada? Isn't that a massive pool of talent that can make up for the people who would rather say unemployed in Tax-Hell Europe as it is on the brink of a massive economic collapse. Far larger proportions of people have emigrated for more trivial reasons than this.

And remember, they speak French in many parts of Canada so they will to keep speaking that weird language that French people are so attached to (joke).

Dude you have a strong opinion and I respect that, it's good to think about the world but I feel that in this case your hatred of the EU has maybe made you less open to seeing certain points. For instance I did actually dedicate a good part of my post to the fact that people in Canada can speak French and even put more significance on it perhaps than you did but I'm afraid you didn't seem to pick that up. The other thing is a developer is more bound by it's core people than it's owners. If Quantic leaves but doesn't take it's developers with it, those developers will found a new company rather than be unemployed. So huge layoffs in Canada suggest a) the Canadian game industry isn't doing well and it's not a good time to go to Canada b)If you uproot your family and go to Canada there's more competition for your job and you more likely to lose it.

I didn't think about the layoffs at all and I'm really glad that you brought them up, but in terms of keeping your workforce in your country, larges pools of unemployed workers in the other countries is a pretty good way to go. People want to go where there talents are valued and there is less competition for the jobs. Forgive but if you're the sort of person with an anti-immigration slant (a gross extrapolation on my part from the fact that anti-Eu is typically a very conservative slant) then you are making the exact opposite and that normal argument here. You're saying the more people who immigrate here, the more industry and companies that will attract.

As for my position on the EU, well I'll be honest I don't really have a concrete one. As far as I understand the main benefit of the EU is quite a complex financial one and I have (at the moment) no understanding of financial mathematics, and definitely not the skill required to judge the work who make their living studying it so I don't feel qualified to judge the EU in it's main purpose. I gather however that the general consensus amongst people in the financial world is that the EU has generated significant money for it's members during times of prosperity but the model isn't well adapted to a financial crisis because the EU doesn't have enough power to enforce decisions on it's member states.

I'm also aware that almost all the news that does get reported about the EU is both superfluous and wrong (not very surprising considering the main source of knowledge of the EU in the UK stems from the Daily Mail and the Express, bastions amongst newspapers). For example, a series of new measures that significantly improved accountability in the food industry and did lots of things to stop the illegal transportation of harmful food things, had as one small clause in it's package, that all cartoned foods should have the weight listed in kilograms somewhere on the packaging.

This was reported amongst the euroskeptics and the Daily Mail as 'The EU bans selling eggs by the dozen'. Fail.

In general stories about the EU suffer from the problem that their advantages are highly technical, sensible and boring. So instead we receive narrative. It's more interesting to talk about the eggs than the food packaging scheme. In the same way a government is more likely to tell us about a 500 stapler than about the gross systematic mismanagings of budhets. The first is more useful but has no reflection on reality.

So because I haven't taken the time or knowledge to really delve into the actual political issues of the EU I can't take a position on it. There are only two real things I can add to the discussion, and I will explain my view here if that's okay with you.

1. People should be viewed as people and the one greatest fault in this world at the moment, is instead we priotise people over national borders. A plane crashed, 4 Britons were killed. Don't tell me that, tell me 100 people died. That's what I should care about. So in that sense, if Greece defaults millions of people are going to lose their jobs and be plunged into poverty. It really annoys me that the UK is washing it's hands of the matter, focusing on itself and leaving Germany to act basically selflessly to save Greece. Even now Merkel is defiant that they will get Greece on it's feet and won't throw it out of the Euro. I know we there is a limit to what we can do before we do too much damage to our own country, but that limit should be roughly the point where more people would be hurt in our country than greece, and to be honest we haven't gone anywhere near that.

So any organisation that binds countries into actual helping people from other countries is a good one in my book.

2. The greatest acheivement in my book is the change of attitude it's created on the continent. We miss that in the UK because we remain shut in. But now you can go from France to Belgium to Germany to France without ever once being stopped, practically without even noticing. People mingle and interact from all across Europe. Can you imagine what that's like for countries like France and Germany, which have done almost nothing but declare war on each other since they were founded? To have that after the millions dead in the first and second world wars? How much harder will it be now to start a war when you know you are starting a war with that dude who is a friend just over the border? There is more goodwill in Europe than there has ever been and the EU has created.

I'm not trying to change your opinion on the EU, and in fact if you're experienced on the more technical points I mentioned above I would really love it if you could take the time to explain a few of them to me, so that I might be better informed.

But if I might add with one last thing, you said 'What's the EU done for us' and that will never be the right question as far as I'm concerned. 'What has the EU done for everyone?' is the correct question and if we disagree on that then I'm afraid we will never agree unless you change. For me to change my stance on that would be to stop trying to be the person I really want to be but fail so constantly at being.

BrotherRool:

Treblaine:
Can I ask, when was the last time EU did anything for us?

Are the EU utter idiots to think they can remove tax-breaks to prevent competitive poaching when they fail to realise that just leaves ALL of the EU at huge disadvantage to the rest of the world. This is what the EU was created for, to stand up to the United States but this is FAILING in that capacity!

BrotherRool:

Also it's more easy to threaten moving than to actually move. All those developers have lives in France, homes and families, uprooting that might cause problems.

Didn't EA just fire a load of developers in Canada? Isn't that a massive pool of talent that can make up for the people who would rather say unemployed in Tax-Hell Europe as it is on the brink of a massive economic collapse. Far larger proportions of people have emigrated for more trivial reasons than this.

And remember, they speak French in many parts of Canada so they will to keep speaking that weird language that French people are so attached to (joke).

Dude you have a strong opinion and I respect that, it's good to think about the world but I feel that in this case your hatred of the EU has maybe made you less open to seeing certain points. For instance I did actually dedicate a good part of my post to the fact that people in Canada can speak French and even put more significance on it perhaps than you did but I'm afraid you didn't seem to pick that up. The other thing is a developer is more bound by it's core people than it's owners. If Quantic leaves but doesn't take it's developers with it, those developers will found a new company rather than be unemployed. So huge layoffs in Canada suggest a) the Canadian game industry isn't doing well and it's not a good time to go to Canada b)If you uproot your family and go to Canada there's more competition for your job and you more likely to lose it.

I didn't think about the layoffs at all and I'm really glad that you brought them up, but in terms of keeping your workforce in your country, larges pools of unemployed workers in the other countries is a pretty good way to go. People want to go where there talents are valued and there is less competition for the jobs. Forgive but if you're the sort of person with an anti-immigration slant (a gross extrapolation on my part from the fact that anti-Eu is typically a very conservative slant) then you are making the exact opposite and that normal argument here. You're saying the more people who immigrate here, the more industry and companies that will attract.

As for my position on the EU, well I'll be honest I don't really have a concrete one. As far as I understand the main benefit of the EU is quite a complex financial one and I have (at the moment) no understanding of financial mathematics, and definitely not the skill required to judge the work who make their living studying it so I don't feel qualified to judge the EU in it's main purpose. I gather however that the general consensus amongst people in the financial world is that the EU has generated significant money for it's members during times of prosperity but the model isn't well adapted to a financial crisis because the EU doesn't have enough power to enforce decisions on it's member states.

I'm also aware that almost all the news that does get reported about the EU is both superfluous and wrong (not very surprising considering the main source of knowledge of the EU in the UK stems from the Daily Mail and the Express, bastions amongst newspapers). For example, a series of new measures that significantly improved accountability in the food industry and did lots of things to stop the illegal transportation of harmful food things, had as one small clause in it's package, that all cartoned foods should have the weight listed in kilograms somewhere on the packaging.

This was reported amongst the euroskeptics and the Daily Mail as 'The EU bans selling eggs by the dozen'. Fail.

In general stories about the EU suffer from the problem that their advantages are highly technical, sensible and boring. So instead we receive narrative. It's more interesting to talk about the eggs than the food packaging scheme. In the same way a government is more likely to tell us about a 500 stapler than about the gross systematic mismanagings of budhets. The first is more useful but has no reflection on reality.

So because I haven't taken the time or knowledge to really delve into the actual political issues of the EU I can't take a position on it. There are only two real things I can add to the discussion, and I will explain my view here if that's okay with you.

1. People should be viewed as people and the one greatest fault in this world at the moment, is instead we priotise people over national borders. A plane crashed, 4 Britons were killed. Don't tell me that, tell me 100 people died. That's what I should care about. So in that sense, if Greece defaults millions of people are going to lose their jobs and be plunged into poverty. It really annoys me that the UK is washing it's hands of the matter, focusing on itself and leaving Germany to act basically selflessly to save Greece. Even now Merkel is defiant that they will get Greece on it's feet and won't throw it out of the Euro. I know we there is a limit to what we can do before we do too much damage to our own country, but that limit should be roughly the point where more people would be hurt in our country than greece, and to be honest we haven't gone anywhere near that.

So any organisation that binds countries into actual helping people from other countries is a good one in my book.

2. The greatest acheivement in my book is the change of attitude it's created on the continent. We miss that in the UK because we remain shut in. But now you can go from France to Belgium to Germany to France without ever once being stopped, practically without even noticing. People mingle and interact from all across Europe. Can you imagine what that's like for countries like France and Germany, which have done almost nothing but declare war on each other since they were founded? To have that after the millions dead in the first and second world wars? How much harder will it be now to start a war when you know you are starting a war with that dude who is a friend just over the border? There is more goodwill in Europe than there has ever been and the EU has created.

I'm not trying to change your opinion on the EU, and in fact if you're experienced on the more technical points I mentioned above I would really love it if you could take the time to explain a few of them to me, so that I might be better informed.

But if I might add with one last thing, you said 'What's the EU done for us' and that will never be the right question as far as I'm concerned. 'What has the EU done for everyone?' is the correct question and if we disagree on that then I'm afraid we will never agree unless you change. For me to change my stance on that would be to stop trying to be the person I really want to be but fail so constantly at being.

Brevity would be appreciated, you posted 2-pages of essay formatted text

Look I don't buy into this "conservative/progressive" pigeon holing. I have conservative opinions and I have progressive opinions:

Regardless, my concerns about EU should stand on their OWN, not in context of where I can be pigeon-holed. Surely anyone can argue how ALL of EU not having tax breaks for games just leaves EU countries at disadvantage to any country that does. This U measure was based on concern of brain drain, this recognises that this talent can up sticks and move.

As to matters of focus, the British government was democratically elected by the British people to govern them. It is their democratic responsibility to argue for their country, not to be callous and cruel to others, just the duty of being their country's advocate. Like a lawyer in a trial, it's not their job to argue the other side. Similarly the news has in interest in focusing on the loss of their own country, I have watched the BBC news (only TV news I can stand) and as far as I've found they've always given the overall "death-count" first and THEN focused on how many are Britons, even if it is just to say no Britons are known to be victims.

I do not read the Daily Mail nor anything like it, I don't bother myself with what stupid arguments they make. One must be wary of not giving too much attention to the worst arguments or risk making a straw man argument, losing sight of the issue which is EU forbidding tax breaks for at least video games industry. I did hear on QI Steven Fry defending EU rulings on labelling and standards saying they were identical to what the UK had had in place for years... so what was the point in EU ruling if we were already doing it for ourselves? It's more a benefit to incompetent nations who can't stop the spread of botulism infected meat. UK Customs can do that with or without the EU.

So, not harmful like Daily Mail hyperbolically claim, but apparently not beneficial either... on the front of labelling and food standards at least.

I don't read the daily mail but like you I read the news on The Escapist, and THEY covered this story of stopping Tax breaks for games in Europe and I think it's a fairly solid argument that that is going to leave European game developers at a disadvantage. Ubisoft already have a large amount of resources invested in Canada and it could just be that EA are playing silly-buggers (again) with the hiring and firing game, Ubisoft could swoop in.

I don't know about border searches across continental europe but I'll be damned if I'll be in favour of removing all border checks between UK and continental Europe. It's bad enough that we are forbidden from owning ANY kind of weapon for self defence, it's only tolerable because UK Authorities do quite a thorough job of keeping guns getting in to circulation (for now) but not if all border checks are gone! All the cheap 60 Makarov pistols can be smuggled over by the boatload and with no standard stops-and-checks that'll become geometrically harder to stop.

Treblaine:

Poisoned Al:
Now I'm no conservative Euro-sceptic, but the EU are getting more and more irritating by the second.

I guess that's part of the problem. Criticism of the EU has become something drawn along party lines rather than something we can all line up in agreeing that on at least SOME matters it's completely wrong.

Sure we can agree that on some matters the EU is wrong - however, I'm in the EU, and I'm fully agreeing with the EU on banning videogame developer tax breaks.

All the tax breaks do is give more money to large (and mostly French) companies, out of the public pocket. They may threaten to move, in which case - good riddance to bad rubbish.

KeyMaster45:
We were talking about the EU in my political geography lecture Monday, and how it's odd that lots of the EU governing power is seated in Germany. How no one found it odd that Germany tried twice to take over Europe via war, and yet the EU parliament is situated there (along with it's financial headquarters) with plans to eventually just make the EU one big nation-state instead of a glorified trade agreement.

So let me pose this question, did Germany somehow legally take over Europe and not a single damned person noticed? Because that would be really, really funny.

OT: Maybe they should make attempts to foster at least some economic competition between it's members. Couldn't hurt considering the financial meltdown they seem to find themselves in.

1. The EU is not one country and if you said that to any European, they would probably punch you in the face or laugh at your ignorance as an American. They are a trade conglomerate similar to NAFTA, but with more political implications and trade dealies. The EU is like super-NAFTA.

2. The EU is not run by Germans. Each nation has a voice in the parliament (or whatever it is called), the council (sure lets go with that).

3. Like every inter-governmental organization ever, power is distributed by who has the most moneys. Germany has one of the strongest economies in the world, so it gets a lot of power. This is also why the EU was (or still is, I haven't been following it) on the verge of falling apart because Germany would have had to bail out Greece which was in the shitter.

Greg Tito:
The European Union has a law stating individual countries cannot place discounts for certain industries within its borders, ostensibly so that nations couldn't try to poach companies from each other by offering sweet deals.

Isn't that how the American economy works? I thought the government had a vicious hard-on for domestics and certain big companies. I could be wrong though. It is odd that Europe doesn't behave the same way. But then again, I haven't had to learn about European economics.

Greg Tito:
Canada, where the tax breaks flow like maple syrup.

I am really ok with this analogy :)

I also find it funny that a French company is actively fighting for something. But it is even more funny that if they are about to lose their fight, then run to Canada.
Ahhh Frenchies... How you make me lol.

Treblaine:
And remember, they speak French in many parts of Canada so they will to keep speaking that weird language that French people are so attached to (joke).

Don't know if I'd say many parts of Canada. There are only two provinces with large french populations to my knowledge, and another with a decent sized french population in one tiny corner of the province. Though there are certainly plenty of people who are bilingual.

But hey, I say if the EU wants to drive businesses away at a time when their economy is in the toilet and entire countries are risking total government and economic collapse then we'd be happy to have them. I completely agree with you on this; what kind of idiots actually make policy to level the playing field amongst their members without realizing that there's the rest of the fucking globe outside of Europe?

BrotherRool:
So huge layoffs in Canada suggest a) the Canadian game industry isn't doing well and it's not a good time to go to Canada

I think teams like Bioware, Ubisoft Montreal, and Eidos Montreal may have other thoughts on that. Honestly, EA laying off employees isn't really indicative of the health of the gaming industry anywhere considering their talent for buying up talented development teams and either running them into the ground, or disbanding them as soon as a single game doesn't meet their unreasonable expectations. EA firing people isn't really even news to be honest with how common it is.

Does Ubisoft ever stop bitching? Really, every word out of their mouth is about how someone is screwing them; pirates, the government, used games, console limitations, etc.

insanelich:

Treblaine:

Poisoned Al:
Now I'm no conservative Euro-sceptic, but the EU are getting more and more irritating by the second.

I guess that's part of the problem. Criticism of the EU has become something drawn along party lines rather than something we can all line up in agreeing that on at least SOME matters it's completely wrong.

Sure we can agree that on some matters the EU is wrong - however, I'm in the EU, and I'm fully agreeing with the EU on banning videogame developer tax breaks.

All the tax breaks do is give more money to large (and mostly French) companies, out of the public pocket. They may threaten to move, in which case - good riddance to bad rubbish.

So your issue with tax breaks is they leave those that don't do give tax breaks at a disadvantage?

Well EU banning those tax-breaks won't eliminate that advantage, that just means we will ALL be equally disadvantaged, the opposite of egalitarianism which is supposed to raise everyone up. You still have all of USA and Canada and other countries giving huge tax breaks and I remember recently at a UK developers conference they were actively poaching developers to emigrate to Canada for work on games development.

This shouldn't be personal satisfaction of "good riddance to tax dodging French" as there is the major issue of games not being developed in Europe as much. All our great talent bloody well disappearing, those remaining not making as much money, and taking in even less taxes.

I'm in favour of government getting more tax revenue, but that doesn't always mean higher tax rates. It's the same logic that a grocers can make more money trying to sell potatoes at 1 coin per potato rather than 1000 coin per potato.

Remember if the company leaves the EU or massively downsizes and operates in friendlier countries, then the EU gets less money or no money AT ALL! That hurts the public purse more.

Vivi22:

Treblaine:
And remember, they speak French in many parts of Canada so they will to keep speaking that weird language that French people are so attached to (joke).

Don't know if I'd say many parts of Canada. There are only two provinces with large french populations to my knowledge, and another with a decent sized french population in one tiny corner of the province. Though there are certainly plenty of people who are bilingual.

But hey, I say if the EU wants to drive businesses away at a time when their economy is in the toilet and entire countries are risking total government and economic collapse then we'd be happy to have them. I completely agree with you on this; what kind of idiots actually make policy to level the playing field amongst their members without realizing that there's the rest of the fucking globe outside of Europe?

Bold for how succinctly this sums up the absurdity of EU's decision.

Ubisoft already has put down a LOT of roots in Montreal (you may have seen the name Ubisoft Montreal more often of recent) and I wonder if it was precisely because of this decision. It's a shame EU seems to have resorted to Tall Poppy Syndrome in times of economic woes. Anyway, I think French companies like Ubisoft are mainly focusing on Montreal, it doesn't need to be in EVERY province.

Treblaine:

Brevity would be appreciated, you posted 2-pages of essay formatted text

Look I don't buy into this "conservative/progressive" pigeon holing. I have conservative opinions and I have progressive opinions:

Regardless, my concerns about EU should stand on their OWN, not in context of where I can be pigeon-holed. Surely anyone can argue how ALL of EU not having tax breaks for games just leaves EU countries at disadvantage to any country that does. This U measure was based on concern of brain drain, this recognises that this talent can up sticks and move.

As to matters of focus, the British government was democratically elected by the British people to govern them. It is their democratic responsibility to argue for their country, not to be callous and cruel to others, just the duty of being their country's advocate. Like a lawyer in a trial, it's not their job to argue the other side. Similarly the news has in interest in focusing on the loss of their own country, I have watched the BBC news (only TV news I can stand) and as far as I've found they've always given the overall "death-count" first and THEN focused on how many are Britons, even if it is just to say no Britons are known to be victims.

I do not read the Daily Mail nor anything like it, I don't bother myself with what stupid arguments they make. One must be wary of not giving too much attention to the worst arguments or risk making a straw man argument, losing sight of the issue which is EU forbidding tax breaks for at least video games industry. I did hear on QI Steven Fry defending EU rulings on labelling and standards saying they were identical to what the UK had had in place for years... so what was the point in EU ruling if we were already doing it for ourselves? It's more a benefit to incompetent nations who can't stop the spread of botulism infected meat. UK Customs can do that with or without the EU.

So, not harmful like Daily Mail hyperbolically claim, but apparently not beneficial either... on the front of labelling and food standards at least.

I don't read the daily mail but like you I read the news on The Escapist, and THEY covered this story of stopping Tax breaks for games in Europe and I think it's a fairly solid argument that that is going to leave European game developers at a disadvantage. Ubisoft already have a large amount of resources invested in Canada and it could just be that EA are playing silly-buggers (again) with the hiring and firing game, Ubisoft could swoop in.

I don't know about border searches across continental europe but I'll be damned if I'll be in favour of removing all border checks between UK and continental Europe. It's bad enough that we are forbidden from owning ANY kind of weapon for self defence, it's only tolerable because UK Authorities do quite a thorough job of keeping guns getting in to circulation (for now) but not if all border checks are gone! All the cheap 60 Makarov pistols can be smuggled over by the boatload and with no standard stops-and-checks that'll become geometrically harder to stop.

If you're a rational human being, to some extent your views should be pigeon-holed. There is a broad generalisation of socialism vs individualism, crossed against personal liberty vs conservatism and many many issues can be decided by deciding where you fall there. Part of the problem is humans aren't completely rational and party lines ended up being drawn funnily. Particularly in the USA where the people who believe in individual freedom from government control financially are the same people who believe in tighter government control over individual freedom over all aspects of human life. I think most of your views seem to be 'rational conservative' which is the conservative I have respect for. The sort of people who say 'I don't see why the government should choose what I give to charity' and then actually do give their wealth to charity.

And then of course there are issues where the solution doesn't fall into those and there it's wrong to slot neatly into party holes. For instance I used to be pro-abortion just because I felt I was a counter-cultural christian and that's where my views should lie. And then my friend pointed out I was doing it without thinking about the issue and I realised that I felt people should have the choice to live and I personally don't believe mothers have total control over their child. ( I realise this is a terrible illustration because it's controversial. If it's okay with you if you could treat it as an example of how my mind works and move on it would be great because I'm not totally emotionally mellow about this, but it is to date the most significant example of me changing from the party-lines you decried to being more sensible about an issue)

Um you asked me to be brief so I'll try (it's nothing something I'm very good at :D )so

1. As a citizen of this country, I want my politicians to represent me in going out of their way to help other people regardless of nationality. I understand that other people think the government should be looking after the interests of the people who pay into it, but I will live my life in the hope that in some small way I can change that view.

2. I think it's a shame that the news is interested in the deaths of their own country. As you can tell, I generally think serious national identity is bad. (Whilst unserious national identity is awesome, Cymru Am Byth! Wales rocks!)

3. (whilst Britain is an island so I know this doesn't apply very much, but as I said before I don't think of the EU as what it can do for us but in terms of what it can do for people generally) controlling over the non island countries keeps everyone involved safer for less effort.

4. My think about borders was more for the countries on the mainland again. The EU has done a fantastic job at taking us away from the at the throats arm race we used to have. You can get across to France easily and with little fuss, some people even commute there but because you have to take a boat/train to do it remove border checks for us doesn't particularly prove efficiency of intermixing.

5. It will be interesting to see the results of the tax. I admit that whilst I don't think they'll lose developers they could lose publishers, as you pointed out, which would be a loss of money. The test case would be the UK who are in a similar position and don't have the tax breaks France has. I'm not aware of a major publisher withdrawing support from the UK for tax reasons and if that's true, then this EU tax thing is essentially safe and not a bad thing, if major publishers have moved out of the UK then I will agree with you on this and a reduction of EU powers, or at least more flexibility in them.

Poisoned Al:
Now I'm no conservative Euro-sceptic, but the EU are getting more and more irritating by the second.

Same here, except you can extend that to all the world's governments, run by rich people to help rich people.

Treblaine:

So your issue with tax breaks is they leave those that don't do give tax breaks at a disadvantage?

Well EU banning those tax-breaks won't eliminate that advantage, that just means we will ALL be equally disadvantaged, the opposite of egalitarianism which is supposed to raise everyone up. You still have all of USA and Canada and other countries giving huge tax breaks and I remember recently at a UK developers conference they were actively poaching developers to emigrate to Canada for work on games development.

This shouldn't be personal satisfaction of "good riddance to tax dodging French" as there is the major issue of games not being developed in Europe as much. All our great talent bloody well disappearing, those remaining not making as much money, and taking in even less taxes.

I'm in favour of government getting more tax revenue, but that doesn't always mean higher tax rates. It's the same logic that a grocers can make more money trying to sell potatoes at 1 coin per potato rather than 1000 coin per potato.

Remember if the company leaves the EU or massively downsizes and operates in friendlier countries, then the EU gets less money or no money AT ALL! That hurts the public purse more.

Well, you could be making more strawmen, but in that case you'd have to move your computer to a field.

No, my issue with tax breaks is that they give more money to companies that don't need it. I don't think that France is at an advantage giving tax breaks, as a country anyway - a few companies in France have an advantage, and that benefits nobody but the executives and shareholders of said companies. And I'd take a guess that most of the shareholders are legally located in tax havens anyway.

Our great talent disappearing because we don't have tax breaks? As in, the talent up and moving because of the tax breaks in other countries? As I said before - good riddance to bad rubbish, because the talented people probably have healthy lives and thus also have commitments and families. The companies will move, which will result in unemployed talent, thus giving a stronger edge to companies sticking around - and maybe we'll see new companies and more innovation.

I don't believe the EU stands to lose financially due to banning of tax breaks to people who already do everything possible to avoid paying any money back ever.

And as for games I play - we'd lose on what, Ubisoft? Dear god no, where will I ever get games so horribly mangled by executive decisions I can't play them?

Overall, I view abolishing of videogame tax breaks as a net positive to the EU financially and creatively.

EDIT: Oh wait, Quantic Dream too. I forgot about them about as soon as I stopped seeing the name, as I always do. Heavy Rain developer lost, huh? Yeah. Not gonna care.

Dammit with the way the world is going, we will likely all be moving to Canada soon.....oh god.

AC10:
Canada would love to have you!

I LIKE LIKE LIKE!

oh... wait... not supposed to all caps things...

I like like like!

I'm American, but frig, our sister up north is just as good!

As for the EU... well... part of me is kind of glad? it's unfortunate for some of the people working there (although I'd assume they'd just move with their company), but I hope this will be an example to other governments that video games are a first class entertainment industry and it pays off to encourage its growth.

Here's the thing: the EU is not the US, and it's trying to gain more power than even the Federal government of the US has. The federal government has its sources of tax and leaves everything else to the states. This encourages competition between the states for industries. That is a good thing.

Secondly, where in the hell does the EU get off telling its members what laws they can and cannot pass? The EU does not have that power, nobody gave them that power. They have taken it. At most, all they should do is shape monetary policy. Does the FED in the United States have any power whatsoever to shape fiscal policy, to affect taxes and spending? Of course not, they are unelected and therefore have no say in what the country does with its money.

Also, just wanted to point out that I have no idea who this Wouter Pieke guy is. The European Commission Directorate General for Competition is a bureaucracy headed by Alexander Italianer. No one person has control over this decision, but I would like to point out that the people who do are unelected.

Poisoned Al:
Now I'm no conservative Euro-sceptic, but the EU are getting more and more irritating by the second.

And I AM a conservative Euro-sceptic, and this is exactly the sort of thing I was worried the EU would pull. I occasionally doubted the evidence behind my beliefs, but thank you Europe for making me even more Tory than I already was.

Not to say it doesn't suck for you guys, but I'm going into computer sciences this year, and happen to live in Canada.
So, doesn't sound like fun times, but I don't mind more developers out here :P

Wow, Europe, Asia, and the States are just throwing reasons to move up here at their people.

I just hope that fat sack of shit we have for a MAJORITY Prime Minister doesn't screw it up.

you're always welcome here in Canada!

Well hey, that works for us.

KAPTAINmORGANnWo4life:
I just hope that fat sack of shit we have for a MAJORITY Prime Minister doesn't screw it up.

Yeah, no kidding. For some reason Harper always makes me think of the Joker from Batman.

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