Following significant activity within the Scottish government at Holyrood and the UK government in Westminster, regarding the issue of tax breaks for game developers, new has emerged that the Canadian government has made a multi-million dollar investment to the country’s development community.
According to Develop: The Canada Media Fund this month granted CA$12.9 million (£8m) to twenty-seven tech companies – twelve of which are game developers.
Given the current UK government’s commitment to cuts and their disinterest in following through the previous administration’s acceptance of the need for tax breaks, it seems unlikely that the current round of lobbying and enquiries will result in anything approaching this level of support.
…the Canada Media Fund – which still has CA$10.8 million (£6.6) to spend in its second funds round – is also backing startups and providing assistance in game promotion and advertising.
Over CA$1.5 is being spent on eleven new projects – from games to apps – while CA$1.6 million is set aside for marketing
The princely financial support underlines how central the game industry is considered to Canada’s digital economy. The nation is widely considered to have set a global template for supporting its development studios – a model which the UK is despairingly at odds with.Canada offers game development tax breaks in three regions, saving as much as 40 per cent on production costs. And while there is additional support from the state, there is even further in individual regions.
Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, for example, recently unveiled a CA$1.15 billion fund to encourage developers in the region to create more jobs.
Some 250 companies applied for the Canada Media Fund. Due to popularity, the deadline for the second round has been extended to November 12, 2010.