‘Violent’ Game Devs To Be Targeted By U.S. Government

It looks as those “violent” video game developers should trend carefully, as a developing news story suggests that Washington D.C. will be targeting them in an upcoming tax reform bill.

The Washington Examiner reports that the “long-awaited” bill reforming the American tax codes, from U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, will refuse violent creators of video games a proposed research and development tax break.

“On page 19 of the executive summary,” the newspaper reports, “the committee mentions an improved and permanent research and development tax credit, which has benefited countless industries from manufacturers to software creators to food producers.” As such, the bill proposes a so-called “improved, permanent R&D tax credit” in order for American companies “to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent R&D incentives.”

But page 24 of the bill, “removes that tax credit from the violent video game industry, under a section about closing loopholes… One of the plan’s provisions: ‘Preventing makers of violent video games from qualifying for the R&D tax credit.’”

The newspaper notes the irony of this statement, “given the fact that on the very next page the summary says the bill ‘stops the practice of using the tax code to pick winners and losers based on political power rather than economic merit.’”

The Washington Examiner concludes by stating that the bill “would affect companies like Electronic Arts, which makes violent games like ‘Battlefield’ but also non-violent games like ‘FIFA Soccer’ and ‘The Sims.’” Even if some companies who are predominately associated with violent games, but do have other products that are non-violent, will lose out on the tax credit.

The Ways and Mean Committee is known as an anti-tax, small government party. They’re controlled by the Republican party in the House of Representatives. As you can tell, its decision to decline tax credits to certain developers contradicts their overall motive, and remains to be seen how it plans to justify these particular actions.