France lifts restrictions in games tax breaks reforms

Developers making a game with a budget of at least €100,000 can now take advantage of incentives
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More developers are now eligible for games tax breaks in France after new reforms were finally pushed through.

The new terms of the eight-year old measures were voted for by the French government and ratified by the European Commission last year, and have now come into action.

Games targeted at an 18+ rated audience are now eligible for the tax credit, though on the condition they do not contain scenes of too much violence. It is currently unclear exactly what parameters this entails.

This part of the new tax scheme is being made retroactive for spending made in 2014.

The bar for eligibility has also been lowered, so games with a budget of €100,000 can now benefit from the system. Previously titles had to have a budget of at least €150,000 or more to be approved for incentives.

Staffing costs indirectly linked to a game’s production can now also be taken into account.

It is hoped the move will be a boon to the French game industry. France’s trade body, the Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo, labelled previous measures as too restrictive and said they were “insufficiently suited to the changing realities in the sector”.

“The promulgation of the application decree of the reform of the video games tax credit is excellent news for our sector,” said the Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo president Guillaume de Fondaumière.

“This reform is the result of a long dialogue with the Minister of Culture and the Junior Minister for the Digital Economy. Its entry into application means that a much greater number of projects will be eligible. The video game tax credit will now apply to indie developers producing games on new platforms as much as bigger studios developing large-scale projects. This will bring more dynamism to a sector undergoing significant changes and encourage the creation of many, mainly permanent, jobs for both unskilled and highly qualified young people – a characteristic of our industry. With this new tax credit, France once again has an attractive system and will be able to return to the heart of the international games industry.”

Image credit: Mith

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