European Commission – Press Release
State aid: Commission approves extension of French aid scheme for video game creation
Brussels, 25 April 2012 - The European Commission has authorised France to extend a tax credit scheme for video game creation, in so far as it aims to promote culture. The Commission finds that this scheme, with an estimated budget of €45 million a year, is helping to steer video game production towards projects with cultural content, in line with the EU state aid rules.
Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: ‘The French tax credit has made it possible to support a wide variety of culture-oriented projects in the video games sector, without altering the conditions of competition to an extent detrimental to the common interest. I am pleased to approve the extension of the scheme.’
In 2008 France introduced a tax credit of 20% of expenditure on the design and creation of video games with cultural content, up to a maximum of €3 million per business per year. The scheme is open to video game manufacturers permanently established in France, including European businesses. The Commission approved the scheme in December 2007 (see IP/07/1908).
To be eligible for the tax credit, video games must meet several criteria. In particular, they must either be an adaptation of an existing work of European origin or satisfy a test of quality and originality of concept and contribution to the expression of European cultural diversity and creativity. These two criteria aim to ensure that the tax credit is applied only to video games that are cultural products. Apart from the period of application and the size of the budget, estimated this time at €45 million per year, all the conditions remain identical to those laid down in the 2007 decision. The duration of the scheme has been extended to December 2017.
Article 107 (3)(d) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)) allows state aid to be granted for cultural purposes under certain conditions.
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.33943 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.