Québec boosting competitiveness of its video game tax credit

Following the announcement of a new Ubisoft investment project in Montréal, the Québec government announced on September 30 that it would enhance the refundable tax credit for the production of multimedia titles. In fact, in order for the tax credit to better meet new industry developments, two major aspects were revised.

First, the government abolished the 36-month time limit regarding the eligibility period of production work. With the advent of online games, several improvements and upgrades are now often made to a game in the months, or even years, following its release. With the abolition of the 36-month time limit, the tax credit thus becomes better tailored to new industry conditions. Second, with the same aim of having the tax credit keep in stride with industry developments, the government is making a new series of activities eligible, including those associated with the development of communities of players.

Thanks in part to the Québec government’s refundable tax credit for the production of multimedia titlesthe video game sector has developed rapidly over the past few years and now represents a vital part of the Montréal and Québec economy. Greater Montréal now definitely ranks among the top worldwide clusters for this sector.

However, competition among the various jurisdictions for attracting investment projects is extremely fierce, especially in the video game sector. Québec’s competitiveness in terms of incentives—very high just a few years ago—is no longer what it was as a result of competing jurisdictions that offer similar or better incentives.

Many agree that this increase in incentives will continue in the near future given the lack of a regulatory framework in North America, along with a gloomy economic outlook and the urgent need for new jobs, especially in the U.S.

In this ultra-competitive context, the initiative taken by the government to boost the competitiveness of the refundable tax credit for the production of multimedia titles is very critical to the future development of the Québec and Montréal video game industry.

Major investment

The investment project announced by Ubisoft totals $373 million and will lead to the creation of 500 new jobs over the next seven years. This investment consolidates Ubisoft’s position as leader in the Québec video game industry. Montréal International is proud to have contributed to this growth-generating project for the Greater Montréal economy..

Christian Bernard, Director, Economic Studies

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