This one's gonna generate a few nasty emails to the tax peeps in Washington.
The US Congress has released a blueprint for a complete overhaul of the American tax system, and it offers a variety of tax benefits for businesses. That's good to hear but there's another part that gamers are not going to like.
The document in question includes an "improved, permanent R&D tax credit" that will given American companies the "certainty they need to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent R&D incentives." Well, great. However, this tax credit won't be available across the board; specifically, studios that make "violent video games" won't qualify. The blueprint includes a provision for "preventing makers of violent video games from qualifying for the R&D tax credit."
Of course, it doesn't say how the government will label a game "violent." They could use the ESRB rating but that doesn't get applied until after the game is complete. If we're talking about research and development, everything is pretty darn vague at that point in the design process. So, is it just a judgment call on the part of the government?
I don't know who dropped in this little tidbit of idiocy, but it better go away. Either that, or we need a fantastic explanation.