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UK government announces that developers will only receive proposed tax relief if games are sufficiently 'British' enough.


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#1

Homem Pigman
  • Location: Missile Launch Base

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:23 PM

http://www.develop-o...s-cultural-test

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The UK government has unveiled details of the cultural test for video games tax relief in its draft legislation released today.


To pass the tests, provided below, a game must be awarded at least 16 points to be eligible for tax breaks.

Developers will be awarded with four points for instance if at least 75 per cent of the game is set in the UK or another EEA state, and three points if only 66 per cent is set in such locations.

Other tests includes how many characters depicted in the title are from the UK or another EEA state, if the game depicts a British story or one which relates to an EEA state, and whether the title helps promote, develop and enhance British culture.

One potential point of controversy however could stem from points available for British staff in specific positions. For example, one point could be awarded if the project leader "is a qualifying person". This also applies to the positions of scriptwriters, composers, artists, programmers, designers and the head of department.

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The full cultural test
(1) A video game may be certified as a British video game under section 1217CB(1) of the Act only if it passes the following cultural test.
(2) A video game passes the cultural test if it is awarded at least 16 points in total under paragraphs (3) to (6).
(3) Up to 16 points shall be awarded in respect of the content of the video game as follows—
(A) Up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the video game that is set in the following locations
(i) 4 points if at least 75% is set in the United Kingdom or another EEA state;
(ii) 3 points if at least 66% is set in the United Kingdom or another EEA state or set in an undetermined location;
(iii) 2 points if at least 50% is set in the United Kingdom or another EEA state or set in an undetermined location;
(iv) 1 point if at least 25% is set in the United Kingdom or another EEA state or set in an undetermined location;
(Posted Image Up to 4 points depending on the number of the characters depicted in the video game with the following characteristics
(i) if there are more than three characters depicted in the video game, 4 points if two or three of the three lead characters are from the United Kingdom or another EEA state or from an undetermined location or, if only one of the three lead characters is from the United Kingdom or another EEA state or from an undetermined location, 2 points if that character is the first or second lead, 1 point if that character is the third lead;
(ii) if there are only three characters depicted in the video game, 4 points if two or three of them are from the United Kingdom or another EEA state or from an undetermined location or, if only one of them is from the United Kingdom or another EEA state or from an undetermined location, 2 points if that character is the first or second lead, 1 point if that character is the third lead;
(iii) if there are only two characters depicted in the video game, 4 points if both of them are from the United Kingdom or another EEA state or from an undetermined location, 2 points if one of them is;
(iv) if there is only one character depicted in the video game, 4 points if that character is from the United Kingdom or another EEA state or from an undetermined location;
© 4 points if the video game depicts a British story or a story which relates to an EEA state;
(D) up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the original dialogue that is recorded in the English language or in a recognised regional or minority language as follows
(i) 4 points for at least 75%; (ii) 3 points for at least 66%; (iii) 2 points for at least 50%;
(iv) 1 point for at least 25%.
(4) Up to 4 points may be awarded in respect of the contribution of the video game to the promotion, development and enhancement of British culture.
(5) Up to 3 points shall be awarded in respect of work carried out in the making of the video game as follows
(a) 2 points if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom
(i) conceptual development; (ii) layout and storyboarding;
(iii) programming;
(iv) visual design;
(Posted Image 1 point if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom
(i) performing and recording the music score created for the video game;
(ii) voice recording;
(iii) audio production;
(iv) picture production.
(6) Up to 8 points shall be awarded in respect of the personnel involved in the making of the video game as follows
(a) 1 point if the project leader (or, if there is more than one, the main project leader) is a qualifying person;
(Posted Image 1 point if at least one of the scriptwriters (or, if there are more than three, one of the three lead scriptwriters) is a qualifying person;
© 1 point if the composer (or, if there is more than one, the lead composer) is a qualifying person;
(d) 1 point if the artist (or, if there is more than one, the lead artist) is a qualifying person;
(e) 1 point if the programmer (or, if there is more than one, the lead programmer) is a qualifying person;
(f) 1 point if the designer (or, if there is more than one, the lead designer) is a qualifying person;
(g) 1 point if at least one of the heads of department is a qualifying person;
(h) 1 point if at least 50% of the development team are qualifying persons.

Personally I can't blame their reasoning, since American culture is dominant in games and they probably want a stronger cultural identity, or just variety. However this seem very short-sighted - it displays quite an ignorance of the industry. What about puzzle games which don't have settings or lead characters? Those couldn't have any points for "being set in the EEA" or "having British lead characters".

What are your thoughts?

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#2

Sillen
    Sillen

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:31 PM

Do board games get tax reliefs for having British characters?
AND and OR should be renamed BOTH and EITHER.

#3

A_British_Gamer
  • Location: I don't really know.

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

Peter Molyneux probably can't get the smile off his face, if I am understanding this correctly.

To be honest if this results in a game having full blown posh British stereotypes complete with rich, posh accents, bowler hats, monocles, and voices by Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed.... I will totally buy it.
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#4

MrRatermat

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

View PostA_British_Gamer, on 12 December 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

Peter Molyneux probably can't get the smile off his face, if I am understanding this correctly.

To be honest if this results in a game having full blown posh British stereotypes complete with rich, posh accents, bowler hats, monocles, and voices by Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed.... I will totally buy it.
Yes, that will totally be my sort of game.

(And I will slap Peter Molyneux's smile right off his face, he should be working on game designs, not smiling with glee.)

Its surprising how the UK government are such ­asses, AND they have an ego for their country. I do not give a damn­ if a game is based in the UK or in the US, has English characters or American ones. This is absolutely crazy. And worse, they call it culture.

#5

TheEvanCat
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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

So what happens if it's set in space? Do the Imperials from Star Wars who sound suspiciously like space Englishmen get tax reliefs?

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#6

waffle_god
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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

View PostMrRatermat, on 13 December 2012 - 10:28 AM, said:

Yes, that will totally be my sort of game.

(And I will slap Peter Molyneux's smile right off his face, he should be working on game designs, not smiling with glee.)

Its surprising how the UK government are such ­asses, AND they have an ego for their country. I do not give a damn­ if a game is based in the UK or in the US, has English characters or American ones. This is absolutely crazy. And worse, they call it culture.

Cheer up, Peter Molyneux might be the smugest man on the planet; but I bet the government saw this as a wonderful oppertunity to give a valauble industry some much needed tax relief and appease some nationalists at the same time.

Can I smell your gasoline? Can I pet your wolverine? On the day my best friend died I could not get my copper clean.


#7

Abandon_Ships
  • Location: Graduation

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:26 PM

What the hell? This is quite possibly the most stupid law I've heard of.

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#8

glargenheimerstein

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

Some countries do stuff like this to promote their nation's culture while stimulating media industries. France gives tax breaks to French film studios, for instance.

In any case, British developers hear me out...

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#9

Homem Pigman
  • Location: Missile Launch Base

Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

View PostTheEvanCat, on 13 December 2012 - 08:49 PM, said:

So what happens if it's set in space? Do the Imperials from Star Wars who sound suspiciously like space Englishmen get tax reliefs?
Pretty much. That's why I mentioned it shows a great ignorance of the gaming industry as a whole, even if the reasons are justified.

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#10

Litagano_Motscoud
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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:38 PM

All I know is that Killing Floor is more than certified by this test.
Bad people don't stay bad forever.
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