France's game developer association triumphant after five years of lobbying to bring about economic changeFrance's game developers have welcomed today's news that the EC has approved French Parliament's bill for a games industry tax credit, with the president of Association Producers of Multimedia (APOM), Guillaume de Fondaumière saying the EC's decision is "a historic turning point for the French industry of video games".
The association had lobbied since 2002 for the country's politicians to acknowledge the cultural and economic power of the games industry, arguing that French Parliament help its local industry stand on the global stage in an increasingly competitive industry - the French development sector specifically has suffered over the years, in part due to generous tax credits in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec.
The tax credit is still be be put in place in France - APOM said it's next task is to work with parliament to have the bill made into French law as quickly as possible, taking into account changes to the bill requested by the European Commission.
The organisation's press statement said: "The creation of French video games remains very fragile and requires that the measure be applied from 1 January 2008. Our association will also remain fully mobilised on this issue until implementing decree."
(A special editorial by APOM boss de Fondaumière charting the French industry's campaigning for government support, was printed in the latest issue of Develop - which can be downloaded here - and is available to read now on Developmag.com by clicking here.)
Speaking further with Develop, de Fondaumière, said: "This is not only a success for the APOM, but also for the EGDF. Its lobbying work during the whole process at a European level has really been decisive," he said. The European Game Developers Federation was formed a year ago by game development trade associations from across Europe including Tiga, APOM, GAME, BGin, Neogames, Spelplan, and Producentforeningen.
Added de Fondaumière: "I believe one can say that European Game Development was born today."
So, do you agree - is this a rebirth for the European games industry? Are you a games developer in the EU who would like to see the move implemented in your country? Or has the decision created a distortion of competition in the continent? Let us know what you think via the comment section below.