West Canada's studios want same tax deal as Quebec

West Canada's studios want same tax deal as Quebec
Michael French

By Michael French

February 7th 2008 at 10:01AM

Devs in Vancouver, British Columbia want level playing field to compete with fellow contrymen in the East

A 'war of the tax credits' is reportedly going on behind the scenes at developers in Canada, as developers in Vancouver begin to call out for similar financial benefits as those seen in Montreal.

According to a report in Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, developers are "voicing concern that generous incentives in Montreal are luring talent and investment at the expense of the industry in British Columbia".

"We would love to see the B.C. government step up and provide more incentives along the lines of what is offered in Quebec," commented Josh Holmes, vice-president and studio manager at Disney-owned Propaganda Games, whose first game Turok has just been released.

As we have covered extensively in Develop, Quebec authorities grant tax credits of over 30 per cent to games companies in the region.

"It's a huge amount of money," Douglas Tronsgard, chief executive officer of Vancouver's Next Level Games, adds in the piece. "Labour costs are about three-quarters of the cost of doing business. What you're talking about is an immediate return to the bottom line - of basically 25 per cent."

However, New Media B.C. president Kenton Low has warned that a "tit for tat" battle between the BC and QC would spark a "race to the bottom" if the industry becomes obsessed with tax breaks.

He said: "We should all work together and figure out how we can make it attractive for American and international production companies to want to come and do business in Canada. To match each other tit for tat - sooner or later, it gets out of hand."