President Obama and Mitt Romney Both Plan to Tax Game Industry Hard
By Edward Smith | October 4, 2012 11:16 PM EST
During their first televised Presidential debate, both President Barack Obama and Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney agreed that the videogame industry should face higher taxation.
Despite disagreeing on Social Security and other issues regarding tax, both candidates believe that the game industry contributes little to American culture and that, according to Governor Romney, it should be "taxed, and taxed hard":
"Both the President and I agree that videogames should be taxed, and taxed hard" explained Governor Romney. "The industry isn't beneficial to our country.
"I, as my opponent agrees, am a fan of books, and wish that more people read. Perhaps it's because of Colorado's high elevation, but I believe that we can win against poor entertainment, which I consider videogames part of."
President Obama also expressed distaste towards videogames, claiming that he is working to ensure the industry pays higher rates of tax:
"[I've] been working harder than anyone else to tax the gaming industry. It's a vice that, apart from Madden 13 and NBA 2K13, doesn't really do much for me or my daughters."
Employees within the games industry have been quick to respond to the candidate's remarks. Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuck, both former heads of Mass Effect developer BioWare, spoke out, saying that computer games face enough tax as it is:
"Gamers have already been heavily taxed this year. We charged $60 dollars for Mass Effect 3, and we view that as a tax considering the game was released in February and the ending was like being painfully audited by the IRS."
"Yeah, I knew this was coming. It's why I left Epic to work for Valve on Half-Life 3. Oops, shouldn't have said that."
The debate comes only days after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that in the UK, games deemed "culturally British" would be taxed less, and be given support from the European Commission.
"The film tax relief has been a huge success," explained minister for creative industries Ed Vaizey "and I encourage all those with a vested interest in the animation, high-end television and video games industries to take part in this exercise, and make sure your views are known."
The tax breaks are set to increase the game industry's contributions to the United Kingdom's GDP to £273m.
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