Good news for Leuven MindGate members (a.o.) Cronos Interactive and Happy Volcano, who are working in the game industry. The converged bill has been approved in the Commission of Finance almost unanimously. The Flemish Games Association FLEGA said this bill "will result in higher quality video games that will be able to compete internationally."
FLEGA explains on its website: "This bill is not yet in effect and we’re not quite sure when this will be the case. Similar to the budget increase of VAF/Gamefonds, the bill has to be approved by Europe. If they consider this a form of illegal state aid, there’s a very real chance this will be sent back to the drawing board. The stance of Europe and the timing when they will rule on this is currently unknown."
"However", FLEGA continues, "There’s a lot to be hopeful for. This was obviously an important hurdle and we’re very glad that the years of lobbying by FLEGA, WALGA, screen.brussels and a number of key partners with a heart for video games ensured that it was taken rather swiftly."
FLEGA concludes: "We’re convinced tax shelter for video games will result in higher quality video games that will be able to compete internationally. With more investments our country will be able to generate more innovative jobs and as a result will be better equipped to counter the brain drain of world class students, like the ones that graduate at HOWEST, recognized as Best Game Development School worldwide for 2 years in a row. We also believe this will trigger more succesful crossmedia productions similar to some existing examples. And of course, all this will contribute to a long term healthy return for the Belgian economy."