Cage: Axe tax breaks and I'll quit for Canada

Cage: Axe tax breaks and I'll quit for Canada

By Rob Crossley

October 3rd 2011 at 11:00AM

Government support gives Quantic Dream an edge

Games development maestro David Cage has said he would be working in Canada if France ever dropped its games tax break policy.

“To tell the truth, without tax breaks, I’m pretty certain we’d be in Canada right now,” Cage told Develop.

The Quantic Dream boss confirmed that France’s generous tax credits policy – which provides studios a 20 per cent refund on production costs – had significantly helped the development of their Heavy Rain project.

But he rejected the notion that video games studios are living it easy with the extra help from their governments.

“Tax breaks are not a ‘benefit’,” he said.

“They are used to do a better job. Simple as that. If there were no tax breaks… well, Heavy Rain would probably still exist, but a lot less money would have been spent on it.

“If you miss a milestone, it’s only the money that keeps your project away from death.”

Quantic Dream launched Heavy Rain in February last year, and had won the French studio worldwide critical acclaim and awards.

But the studio itself is in a constant race with other games developers across the globe, Cage said, and Canada’s tax break haven is giving the Maple Leaf an edge.

“When a game arrives, people just compare the titles, people just look at if it works or not,” Cage said.

“They don’t look to see if our studio is fighting with the same weapons as a Canadian studio.

“Life is easy in Canada. You’ve got all the money in the world. You can recruit like mad over there. You’ll have tax breaks and more tax breaks and nearly 40 per cent tax breaks on every project that you do. It’s crazy.

“The French games industry couldn’t compete without tax breaks. And I look at the UK and think it’s all quite depressing.”