Perhaps no surprise, but UK-based video gamer developers are calling for tax breaks similar to those afforded to the film industry, FT.com reports. After Canada overtook the UK as the world’s third largest games producer, a survey by Games Investor Consulting found 87 percent of executives at UK games studios want public incentives like those that let film makers recoup up to 20 percent of their costs. says the British games sector is growing relatively slowly because “it is hampered by the highest salary costs and the most limited government support”. Culture minister Margaret Hodge said she would help the companies look toward existing R&D tax credits but out-and-out tax credits would break EU rules – she’s also keen to find out whether Canada’s incentives (Quebec pays up to 40 percent of some developers’ wages) break WTO rules.
It’s a marker of how development costs are spiraling out of control that game makers are increasingly looking for radical ways to reduce overheads. Costs of transitioning to Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) Playstation 3 caused Eidos parent SCi Entertainment to make a loss for the full-year ending June. Last week, Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS) said it wanted to consolidate competing console formats in a single platform standard – and they already have major studios in Canada.