BC IDMTC is a tax credit for serious video game developers only

Posted on Sep 13, 2011

It all comes down to the “I”. It used to be that Interactive meant any software that responds to user’s activity. The Ministry of Finance on their FAQ for BC IDMTC webpage defines an interactive digital media product as “an interactive product designed for use by an individual, the primary purpose of which is to educate, inform or entertain, and must include at least two of the following forms: text, sound and images. This may include, but is not limited to video games.” But really they don’t mean educate or inform and there’s a gratuitous ‘not’ in the last sentence.

The Ministry has clarified, in person but not yet in writing, that in order to meet the definition of “Interactive” Digital Media, companies need to be developing video games. However, being a game developer is a necessary but not sufficient requirement. It’s not enough to develop a video game. It has to be a specific type of game. The Ministry of Finance has clarified. In order to be considered an interactive game the user must be able to influence the ultimate outcome based on inputs. And there should be a large number of possible outcomes for the game to be considered interactive. So learning software – no; Simple children’s games – no; Social Media – no Seems odd that the Ministry’s information packages say that “This may include, but is not limited to video games.” when in fact, it is.

For more information on life inside the BC IDMTC please contact Ruth.Spink@RevenueServices.ca

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