Here’s something a bit of unorthodox to my regular videogame news related contributions. Since it affects videogames (specifically videogame developers), however, I figured I’d write about it anyway.
As reported by the Washington Examiner (via GameSpot ), a blueprint for an overhaul of the American tax system was recently released by the United States Congress, an overhaul which is said to offer up a variety of tax benefits for businesses. However, on page 24 the document itself, the Tax Reform Act of 2014 , published b y the House Ways and Means Committee, it plainly states that videogame developers who make “violent videogames” will be prevented from qualifying for benefiting from Research & Development tax credit.
Even though the Act is said to introduce an “improved and permanent” R&D tax credit, which will “ finally giving American manufacturers the certainty they need to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent R&D incentives,” and while that’s a good thing for businesses, it seems like a bit of a kick to the teeth for videogame developers not getting in on such a thing, just because of an arbitrary term which isn’t specifically defined in the document itself. What’s your definition of violence compared to another’s definition of violence?
What’s curious about this document is that in the very next page it clearly states that the Act will stop “the practice of using the tax code to pick winners and losers based on political power rather than economic merit,” which seems a bit contradictory, since it seems that every other industry except from videogame developers that make violent videogames may benefit from R&D tax credit, which could be interpreted as picking other businesses (the winners) on top of violent videogame developers (the losers).
If you fancy reading the document yourself, you can find it here .