I know I haven’t been blogging much and I’m sorry. So many things I want to talk about!
The BBC mentions the VFX Soldier blog as the European Commission opens an investigation into the UK’s attempt to subsidize the gaming industry. Once again, this blog has become a presence in arguing against the race to the bottom:
Commission doubts whether:
- aid is necessary to stimulate the production of such video games;
- limiting expenditure for the tax relief to goods or services ‘used or consumed’ in the UK would not be discriminatory;
- offering this type of aid would not fuel a subsidy race between Member States; and
- the proposed cultural test ensures that the aid supports only games with cultural content without leading to undue distortions of competition.
A year ago, the UK government announced that it would offer subsidies to the games industry after heavy lobbying from TIGA, a UK games industry group.
At the same time, the European Commission, which regulates many international policies for EU members, was in the process of opening consultations on it’s proposal to mitigate subsidies for the film industry.
I took the opportunity to get involved in these consultations as I’ve written extensively on the subsidy race in the film industry and how they have heavily distorted the price for visual effects. I urged the EC to crack down on subsidies and challenge the US and Canada to do the same or else the subsidy race would spiral out of control and spread to other industries like the games industry.
This comes as a surprise to many who argue for globalization but fail to realize many of the policies that encourage ending trade barriers include the end of subsidies too.
We’re still working on the details of our subsidy challenge. I know many are interested in the next stage. Please be patient and let our team work.