US games industry reacts to ESA endorsement of Tax Reform

The move for tax reform in the US is underway with what is known as the ‘unified framework’ for fixing the ‘broken tax code’ as the Trump Administration’s 492-page tax plan with the Republican party was published yesterday. The reforms aim to help stimulate economic growth by making the tax system more desirable with moves such as reducing corporation tax and lowering tax for top earners.

The move was welcomed by the Entertainment Software Association, the US association for the video game industry. In a statement, it said that “Igniting greater economic opportunity and innovation, today’s tax reform proposal promises to boost the US tech sector. For the 2,600 US-based video game companies competing in the $100 billion worldwide video game market, a competitive, pro-growth tax system that encourages IP development and investment in US jobs is imperative.

"We commend Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan, Chairman Hatch, Chairman Brady, Secretary Mnuchin, and Director Cohn for their diligence in crafting this proposal and look forward to working with all policymakers as the effort to enact tax reform moves forward.”

The endorsement of the reform by the ESA has troubled some game developers who do not believe that, despite the business interests, it represents the inclusivity of people within the games industry. One of the reforms plans is to create higher taxes for those on low incomes or who are unable to earn.

Responses came from those involved in the US games industry including Vlambeer developer Rami Ismail and COO of US charity Able Gamer, Steven Spohn, as well as CEO of Harmonix Steven Janiak.

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