Gamasutra – Video Games: Officially Art, In Europe

France has always had an ambition: to be seen in all walks of culture as a leader, a trend-setter, as “unique”, opposed to the “mass” culture. This can be experienced when going to see a movie or attending a concert: at some point you realize that what you’re experiencing is undeniably, irrevocably french. Of course, “french” is not a synonym for “good”, far from that…

Remember the “French touch” in videogames, back in the 90′s? Those quirky, strange, odd games which had a definite aroma of “Oh-la-la”… Some think that kind of games died in 2001, and they may be right, seeing the kind of games Ubisoft is churning out every year.

But they’re not: the people behind those creations are still active, and have learned, and grown.

The tax cut isn’t for all games and companies either. The eternal French ambition can be called responsible for the following conditions required to get it:

“They are many rules to have access to this tax credits”, explained Guillemot, which must be fully explored and measured. For a studio, criteria to obtain the tax credits range from obligatory narration driven, artistic expenses, sociological and political issues relevant to European citizens, to the obvious requirement of non-pornographic product, to the doubtful celebration of the country heritage, and blurry, to say the least, “violence that could mentally, morally or physically hurt end users”.

There it is, in short, “You’ll get money only if you make games that differ from the norm”.

You can still make the usual militaristic gunfest most male teenagers will buy, but you just won’t get a tax discount.

I believe the discount is an incentive to look in other directions, and a (albeit clumsy) attempt to rekindle the “French Touch” in videogames.

It also means it’ll be easier for me to get a job, yay!

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