Today’s Ontario Budget introduced a variety of changes to the tax credit policies for Ontario’s creative industries, including Ontario’s IDM sector, which is made up of leading developers that create video games, mobile apps, eLearning, transmedia, among other products. The actions taken by the Province will renew and double the Interactive Digital Media Fund and will make changes to eligibility for the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC).

“Ontario’s interactive digital media (IDM) sector has grown from a handful of companies, to an industry that now employs over 17000 FTEs, generates over $1 billion for the economy, and has made the province a world leader in IDM creation,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Interactive Ontario which represents Ontario’s IDM sector. “The changes to the OIDMTC in today’s budget will ensure core Ontario IDM companies can continue to invest, hire more young people, and make Ontario a centre for innovation that can compete on the world stage.”

Interactive Ontario supports the government’s decision to narrow the tax credit to bona fide IDM creators. We will need to better understand the implications for informational and educational products but understand the challenge faced by the government in drawing a clear line.

“The rapidly evolving global economy demands that we strive to be world-class IDM creators. The support from the Ontario government in the form of tax credits is a key differentiator to make this a reality and has already helped establish and grow companies within the province that today generate $1.25 billion in IDM exports for Ontario.” commented Vikas Gupta, CEO of Big Blue Bubble “We applaud the decision made by Premier Wynne’s government to continue to support bona fide IDM creation.”

The changes to the 90% rule in the OIDMTC will create better certainty and speed up processing of the credit, but unfortunately still maintain the barriers that prevent Ontario IDM companies from working together.

“We are delighted to see the significant increase in the IDM Fund from $3 Million to $6 Million in this fiscal year, with a future increase in 2016-17 to $10 Million annually,” said Peter Miller, Chair of Interactive Ontario.

Interactive Ontario notes with appreciation the fact that it was invited to participate in discussions on support mechanisms for the IDM industry over the past several months with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport, Ministry of Finance and Treasury Board.