Film maker and game developer argue over tax breaks

While the film industry enjoys tax incentives, the games industry rarely finds itself on the receiving end of such benefits, despite being a huge part of economies all over the world. In Australia, developers have been fighting for tax breaks for a while, but apparently not everyone is keen to see it happen. One such person, an anonymous film industry insider, had this to say:

The problem with the games industry in this country is that it is full of many small studios that should be left on their own to see who survives.

Would you be shocked to believe that game developers disagree with that callous assessment? Tom Crago, boss of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia, retorted to the comment rather scathingly:

…it’s a bit rich for the film industry to say that games should go it alone. The fact is, we have gone it alone since day one, receiving no federal support whatsoever. In spite of this, we have been able to become far more viable commercially than our friends in film. The bottom line here is that screen culture in all its forms should be treated equally.

Funding programs that are available for film should also be available to games. The film industry should actually be embracing this opportunity. It’s unfortunate that some in film feel such a need to protect their patch so zealously. It demonstrates a very blinkered approach to the ever-changing entertainment landscape… It’s sad because we’re missing out on opportunities to work together.

Australia isn’t known for its forward-thinking approach to videogames, so it’s not surprising that the industry is facing such a tough time there. Attitudes like this film industry fellow’s, however, are pretty cold and unfair, and do indeed smack of a person who is being overly protective of his own industry. Very poor behavior indeed.

Jim Sterling