News - Updated on March 30, 2022

Update from 14:04 Moscow time. Mintsifra directly refutes the information of Kommersant:

The Ministry of Digital Development of Russia informs that the funding of the Fund for Supporting the Development of Game Projects is not planned at the expense of any fees from foreign game distribution sites.

Preparation of proposals for the creation of a Fund to support the development of game projects (computer, mobile and online games) that popularize Russian culture and history is provided for by the second package of measures to support the IT industry. The expected effect is to increase the attractiveness of investments in computer game development projects and the development of the video game development segment.

“The introduction of any taxes or fees on foreign digital companies or services, including game distribution, is not considered given the ongoing work at the OECD platform to restructure the taxation system for global international companies (the so-called Pillar 1, Pillar 2). Russia is actively participating in this work and will not make any unilateral decisions,” explained Maxim Parshin, Deputy Head of the Russian Ministry of Digital Development.

original news. Last year, information appeared that in Russia they plan to create a Fund to support game projects that tell about Russian culture and history. As Kommersant now writes, money for this initiative can be collected through a tax for digital video game stores.

The Ministry of Digital Development is allegedly considering the possibility of introducing fees for Steam, Xbox Game Store, PlayStation Store and other similar foreign sites. The tax will be 5% of sales in Russia. Thus, the government expects to replenish the Game Projects Support Fund in the amount of up to 10 billion rubles a year.

Kommersant cites the comments of a number of experts:

  • Determining funding sources is the main issue when creating any support measures, says Alexander Zhuravlev, head of the commission for the legal support of the digital economy of the Moscow branch of the Russian Bar Association. He says that similar measures are in place in other countries: France has a tax on digital platforms, and Denmark is considering a special fee to support film production.

  • The tax for foreign platforms is fraught with certain difficulties, Boris Edidin, Deputy General Director for Legal Affairs of the Internet Development Institute, believes: “Companies can simply start optimizing revenue by changing consolidation points.”

  • Creative Producer Wargaming Vyacheslav Makarov believes that they really can introduce a tax, and game stores “will perceive these 5% as unpleasant, but not critical losses.” Makarov is afraid of something else: if the Game Projects Support Fund begins to demand tough political campaigning, then such games will fail on the market. Softer conditions would be acceptable: just a Russian entourage and no harsh attacks against the state, Makarov says.

According to Kommersant, the authorities may introduce other measures to strengthen the Russian gaming market: for example, preferential taxation for local developers.

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