VANCOUVER, June 4 /CNW/ - British Columbia's video game industry opened a new chapter in potential growth and investment as the new Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit program legislation was passed by the B.C. Legislature yesterday.
"The new tax credit is already generating significant attention, both here in B.C. from the current studios, as well as from other global publishers who are looking to locate new operations or make new investments," stated Howard Donaldson, Chair of the BC Interactive Task Force and Vice President Studio Operations with Disney Interactive Studios. "We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the B.C. government to spread the word of the new competitive advantages of game development in B.C. and reinvigorating job growth in the province."
"B.C.'s new Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit responds to industry's needs and supports the growth and development of the increasingly important video game and animation sectors in B.C.'s economy," said Finance Minister Colin Hansen. "The tax credit, coupled with B.C.'s other unique advantages, including an attractive location and highly-skilled and well-trained workforce, will continue to foster B.C.'s competitiveness worldwide."
"The enactment of this program has already resulted in an increase in our investment in B.C. and will continue to raise B.C.'s profile as the international digital media centre," said Brian Ward, Senior Vice President of Studios for Activision.
At its peak in the fall of 2008, there were more than 60 video game studios in B.C., employing more than 4,000 people and contributing more than a half a billion dollars annually to the province's GDP. Over the past two years, local employment in the industry has fallen dramatically. The BC Interactive Task Force began working with the B.C. government in 2009 to find solutions to reignite job growth and investment, and maintain the province's position as one of the world's best game development hubs.
"B.C's leading position as an interactive development hub has definitely been strengthened by the new tax credit," continued Donaldson. "This new legislation gives us the opportunity to grow our industry for the long-term and generate significant new investment in B.C. as the video game, film and animation industries converge."
The BC Interactive Task Force was formed in 2009 by local leaders of the video game industry to work with the B.C. government on a long-term plan to support video game development in this province. More than 30 B.C. companies, ranging from large international publishers to small entrepreneurial developers, are represented by the Task Force.
SOURCE Electronic Arts Inc.
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