It looks like the first order of business for incoming New Media BC President Kenton Low is to convince provincial government ministries to level the Canadian video game development playing field for BC.
Marke Andrews of the Vancouver Sun helped pitch Low’s case in an article in the Vancouver Sun on Friday. Apparently Quebec, Ontario, PEI, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba offer large labour tax credits to game developers calling their provinces home which allow companies to write off as much as 45 per cent (Manitoba) of their labour costs.
Although BC doesn’t have such a tax credit, it does have other government incentives such as a 30 per cent refundable tax credit for private investors when they invest in a new media venture.
Hopefully Low can continue pushing this topic with the BC Government and get some support for BC’s huge gaming space.
BC’s video-game industry has grown into a major global hub, with 86 studios now producing games and scores of companies providing support and other services. All together they produce $1.4 billion in annual revenue, more than the province’s film and television industry, and provide jobs for more than 5,000 employees, according to the latest data from New Media BC.
Representatives from Piranha Games, Jarhead Games, Blue Castle Games, EA Canada, Action Pants Inc., and Relic Entertainment are quoted in the article but that leaves 80 other video game developers unaccounted for. I can name another half a dozen of the bigger employers in this space but can anyone fill in the long tail?