Quebec games tax relief reduction 'worrisome for future of industry'

Quebec games tax relief reduction 'worrisome for future of industry'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

June 19th 2014 at 11:19AM

Martin Carrier expresses concerns over sudden decrease in incentives

Cuts in Quebec’s games tax relief mark a worrisome future for game industry in the region, says the studio head of WB Games Montreal.

Speaking during a press event, as reported by the Montreal Gazette, Martin Carrier, who is also head of Alliance Numerique, said previous subsidy measures had made the region very competitive with local and global rivals, and such a loss could make the province less attractive to developers. Last week the government dropped subsidies from 37.5 per cent to 24 per cent for games produced in English.

He also warned that it could result in the loss of jobs, with people going to Europe, the US or Ontario instead.

“You have to understand that there are other [funding] programs in other territories in the world,” he said.

“Whether in England, for instance, in Louisiana or even in Ontario – which have programs that are more generous than here. And jobs will be created elsewhere.

“We want to keep creating jobs here, adding to the 9,000 jobs already [in Quebec], so it’s important to keep supporting companies.”

Carrier added that offering tax incentives had proven profitable to the provincial government given the success of studios in the region, and said the industry wouldn’t exist without them.

“Before this [tax credit] program, the industry did not exist in Quebec," he said.

"When I started out in 1997, there were barely a few hundred [video game] jobs here. Since 1997, 9,000 jobs have been created. And that spawned an entire eco-system [of suppliers], so that investment has been very profitable for them.”

Image credit: Wiki Commons