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A developer speaks on why he emigrated to Canada. Hint: Not for tax reasons

By on September 9, 2010

I was reading a GamaSutra article on how the UK is losing out to Canada due to tax breaks.

This comment from developer Rob Bridgett leaped out at me:

I just don’t buy that the migration of developers to Canada, and indeed elsewhere, is linked solely to tax breaks.

Speaking from my own experience, as someone who left the UK to live and work in Vancouver seven years ago (not the recipient of provincial tax breaks for games until very recently this year) my reasons for moving to Canada were based almost entirely around quality of life (cost of living / housing / lower crime rates / family friendly culture etc) and the sheer concentration of developers in Vancouver.

If the UK could compete on quality of life, then it might be able to offer some allure to developers wishing to make a positive move. UK tax incentives might give the developers a little more breathing room in their operating margins, but (I’m being cynical here) I doubt these savings will trickle down to the salary levels of the devs themselves.

It’s only anecdotal, sure, but it’s another piece of evidence that suggests that tax breaks are only a small part of the overall picture

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: