Highly anticipated, the promised reform of the video game tax credit (CIJV) will finally take place. The government gave its final blessing to the new version of the device on November 1, with the signing of a decree by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne.
After long months of blockage, the reform of this instrument of support for French studios had been validated by the government at the start of the year, but it still had to be notified to the European Commission. After the green light from Brussels obtained this summer, Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate for Digital Affairs, took advantage of Paris Games Week, which opens on November 2, to announce the good news and thus reassure players in an industry tricolor of the video game which generated a turnover of 5.6 billion euros in 2021 according to the Syndicate of publishers of leisure software (Sell).
While the previous version of the CIJV expired on December 31, the new version allows the device to be extended until December 31, 2028. Beyond extending its lifespan, the decree signed by the Prime Minister aims to modernize the system to better adapt it to the current challenges of the sector. “It better takes into account new business models and innovations that are driving the sector, such as cloud gaming, virtual reality and blockchain, and are set to play a central role in building metaverses”said Jean-Noël Barrot. “At a time when new technologies such as the metaverse and virtual reality are developing, this tax credit is one of the pledges of French digital sovereignty”added Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy.
The cultural scale revised to integrate the issues of mobile games
In this context, the cultural scale that governs its operation has been reviewed, in particular to better integrate mobile video games which did not have as much weight as in 2007, when this mechanism was created. “Thus, points are awarded to projects which justify the creation of a new universe and a new concept, and which demonstrate original creation in visual, narrative and/or musical terms”says the government.
As a reminder, the video game tax credit, created in 2007, and already reformed in 2014 and then in 2017, is a tax system that must be approved every five years by Brussels. It allows companies in the sector to benefit from a 30% tax credit on production expenses for a new game, up to a limit of 6 million euros per financial year. Since its implementation in 2008, the system has benefited more than 150 video game development studios, with more than 370 projects funded. The CIJV reached 43 million euros in 2021 and 63 million in 2020.