Rockstar tax reliefs, Fire Emblem tops charts, more

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How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from The Gaming Observer, it is Tuesday July 30th, 2019. thegamingobserver.com for links and a transcript.

Rockstar claims £42 million in UK tax reliefs, despite GTA V making billions

According to a report by thinktank TaxWatch UK, Rockstar North has paid no corporation tax for the last 10 years, despite making billions of dollars from Grand Theft Auto V. As we know, GTA V is the most profitable entertainment product of all time, and yet the company has claimed more than £42 million in tax reliefs. They were able to do this through the UK’s Video Game Tax Relief, which was created in 2014 to bolster the industry, much of which is made up of small and medium sized developers. Despite this, Rockstar has taken close to 20% of the total relief paid to the entire UK games industry, “The Video Games Tax Relief was designed to help developers of games with a cultural content that would struggle to sell in the international market. The fact that such a large amount of that relief is going to the developers of Grand Theft Auto clearly shows that the relief is not working as intended.” They go on to say it’s even worse, because all of the funds go back to the US based parent company, Take Two, and nothing flows back into the UK economy. Crazy stuff going on there, and I hope things can reform so that more indie developers are benefitting from the relief.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses tops UK physical charts

In a week dominated by two major releases, Fire Emblem: Three Houses more than doubled the sales of Wolfenstein: Youngblood in the UK retail charts. It also sold almost double the launch sales Fire Emblem Awakening, and more than double the combined sales of the first two Fire Emblem Fates games. This put Nintendo with four games in the top ten. Other than that, the charts are as expected, with games like Crash Team Racing, Super Mario Maker 2, FIFA 19, and GTA V making it to the top.

Sea of Thieves has a community run gamemode called “The Race of Legends”

Here’s a cool feature that Eurogamer did. Sea of Thieves, the swashbuckling multiplayer game, has a community-run game mode called “The Race of Legends.” What it is, is four boat crews sailing head to head in customized races. It’s all fasciliated by a guy named Dread Pirate Doug, and he has this whole operation for referring and streaming it on Twitch. There is a strict rule code that must be followed, and it’s also extremely difficult to set up. Organization takes place 4-5 hours before the event, because there are no private servers. So everyone involved has to go around, get in the same game, and wait for players to drop out of the server. They also have the issue of running into random encounters ruining the race, like Krakens destroying a ship. Rare has thought about making this an official gamemode, but to Doug, “the Race of Legends will always be about the Sea of Thieves community getting together.” So there you have it, the game has got a thriving community, and as the devs try and turn it around, it might be worth checking it out yourself.r

That’s all for today. My name is Adrian Simple, I’ll be back tomorrow with the news, and until then, Happy Gaming everyone!

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