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ezacharyk's picture
Joined: 2007-04-23

Oklahoma currently has a bill out that would give tax incentives to game developers who operate in the state. But they have a ratings restriction that would make the state unattractive when compared to states that offer incentives without the restriction.

Read the Bill here:


It is currently under review by the Senate Finance Committee. Read the reasoning behind the review here:


I have also written a letter to all members of the Senate Finance Committee asking them to approve the bill, but only if the ratings restriction has been removed:

[QUOTE]Senator Xxxxx,

Hello, My name is Zachary Knight. I am writing in regard to SB 644 Tax
Incentives for Game Developers. I have learned that this bill is currently
under review by the Senate Finance Committee along with other bills and
laws regarding tax incentives.

First, I applaud the Finance Committee's efforts to reduce the amount of
money Oklahoma spends on tax breaks that do not benefit the state or have

Oklahoma currently offers tax incentives to film and television studios
who work in Oklahoma. I am sure that that brings in quite a bit of income
and jobs to the state. The same can happen if these incentives are offered
to game developers as well with one key difference. Film and Television
often do not set up permanent studios in the state. If a game studio
chooses to set up an office somewhere it is generally for the life of the
studio. This means that a game business would bring in several years of
income and employment to the state.

The video game industry is an $8 billion+ industry in the US. Texas
currently houses the third largest concentration of game developers and
publishers in the US. By making Oklahoma attractive to new studios and
those wishing to open new offices or relocate, we can bring a part of that
industry and its income to the state.

Next, Oklahoma has at least four schools that offer game related degrees
and courses. Currently, those students upon graduation will need to leave
the state to find employment in this industry. By providing incentives to
game studios to open shop in Oklahoma, those students will not have to
leave and will become a part of Oklahoma's workforce.

Now I come to some fears I have about SB 644. These fears were shared on
KFOR in a recent news cast. This is the fear that the provision in the
bill limiting the tax incentives to games that are rated below M for
Mature by the ESRB would actually make the state less attractive to game

Game studios make a large variety of games. Very few studios limit
themselves to one rating bracket. While M rated games only make up around
15% of the total games made each year, they are made by studios that also
make games below that rating. By limiting the tax incentive to exclude
that rating, any studio that makes M rated games will be less likely to
choose Oklahoma over another state that offers tax incentives without such
a provision.

My next concern comes from the same language. Currently the language of
the bill would also exclude games that do not get an ESRB rating. This
directly affects game studios that produce web browser based games and
games for mobile phones. These games do not require ESRB ratings for
distribution and the nature of the development of these games would make
it too costly to seek a rating for each game made. So these studios would
be less likely to choose Oklahoma over another state that offers tax
incentives without such a provision.

My request is that the Senate Finance Committee approve this bill but only
if the ratings provision is removed to bring game studio tax incentives in
line with film and television. Currently film and television can apply for
tax incentives without any such provision. this means that a studio can
apply even if the film is rated R or NC-17 or the television show is rated

Please make that request in the interest of Oklahoma and the growth of the
games industry in the state.

Thank you for your time,

E. Zachary Knight[/QUOTE]

Hopefully this gets through to them and they change it.


Jack Thompson wrote:
Only a seriously sick or disturbed or mean person would do a countdown to Jack Thompson's disbarment.
Orson Scott Card wrote:
Me, I prefer democracy - even if it means letting dumb people like me have our say - and our votes. Studies have shown that when you let dumb people vote, it works out way better than letting experts make all the political decisions.
Divine Knight Gaming

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