North Carolina is going to provide some epic tax breaks to video game developers. According to the ESA, a bill signed by Governor Beverly Perdue will provide a 15 percent tax credit on "wages and compensation for employees involved in digital media production, or the creation of a platform or engine to run such media." Of course, the big winner here is North Carolina-based Epic Games, which swims in a lake of Unreal Engine money and develops games in its spare time. However, other benefactors of the tax breaks include Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and another dozen or so developers in the state. The incentives take effect January 1, 2011.
Publishers, developers and governments use tax breaks like Ezio wields the hidden blade. It's a weapon, either for financial defense (which seems to be the case in North Carolina) or aggression. With Canada's relentless siren call of tax incentives, if other countries and states don't step up their game, The Great White North will continue its Tim Hortons-fueled march to eventually developing most of the world's video games.