Report: Rockstar North’s “absurd” tax filing means “close to 100%” profit flows outside UK
A lengthy report by Tax Watch UK has taken aim at Grand Theft Auto creator Rockstar North, which is based out of Scotland in the United Kingdom. They argue that the current tax system and Video Games Tax Credit system is ‘patently absurd’ and not fit for purpose.
Long story short, the studio is making enormous amounts of revenue from its critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, but the way it files taxes means virtually none of the profit is being registered in the UK, since it all flows to the US parent company.
Grand Tax Avoidance
Eyebrows have been raised since this arrangement means Rockstar North, despite the success of their products, is eligible for tax credits from the UK government because it looks like they barely keep the doors open on paper. “The situation is absurd,” Tax Watch UK concludes in their online report. “The large amounts of subsidy that Rockstar North has been able to claim from the UK government demonstrates that the Video Games Tax Credit system is not working as intended.”
“We do not believe that this division of profits can be justified under the so-called ‘arm’s length’ standard found in international tax law,” they argue, citing the exploitation of British subsidies. Tax Watch UK urges the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs agency to “investigate this case urgently” and scrutinise the allocation of profit. Over the past 10 years Rockstar North has managed to claim £70m in tax credits.
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
What major publisher was responsible for developing and releasing Doom 64?
- Midway Games
- Apogee Software
- Bethesda Softworks
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
No Street Fighter 6 at EVO 2019, says Capcom
It’s time to shed some manly tears, because Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono has confirmed Street Fighter 6 won’t be shown at EVO 2019. Capcom is intensely focused on Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, he tweeted. Given the next generation Xbox and PlayStation are on the horizon Capcom will probably wait it out. EVO 2018 had an attendance of around 10,000 people in Las Vegas.
PEGI rating for Doom 64 on PC and PlayStation 4
If you’ve ever wanted to play the Nintendo 64 version of Doom – aptly named Doom 64 – then you might just get your chance as PEGI has just slapped a 16 age rating on the PC and PlayStation 4 versions. It was developed by Midway Games and unlike the other console ports of the time, it was a whole new game with different art and gameplay. What could be worse than a demonic invasion? A radioactive-powered one. It’s possibly due this week.
Final Fantasy Legend II’s illicit banana trade
If you ever played Final Fantasy Legend II for the Nintendo Game Boy, you might remember an odd situation where you travelled to Edo, and had to deal with bad guys engaged in illicit trade of… bananas. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese version of the game reveals this to be a bit of censorship.
These criminals weren’t actually trading in bananas, but in the drug opium. As for why the drug was exchanged for bananas? In Japan the banana was actually quite a high priced commodity because of wartime import restrictions and other factors over the last century. It made sense to swap out drug peddling for more standard black-market smuggling. Stay away from back-alley fruit peddlers, kids. It’s a slippery slope.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s 4.0.0 update out July 31? Hero DLC likely imminent
Nintendo Europe appears to have spilled the beans on the 4.0.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They revealed the date whilst giving a warning that replays from previous versions won’t work with 4.0.0, unless you convert the data.
Nintendo Europe tweeted “…replays created in versions before 3.1.0 are not compatible with 4.0.0., which releases 31/07,” – and then immediately deleted it. No official date has been confirmed for the next major update to the game, but it might be revealed tomorrow during a special in-depth look at the Hero DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
I need a hero – he’s gotta be strong, and he’s gotta be fast
Dragon Quest’s Hero will be joining the roster of characters and the release date for the DLC will be announced as well, possibly alongside update 4.0.0. It’s all coming together! Twitter user ‘Sabi’ – whose past leaks have earned the wrath of Nintendo’s legal team – also strongly believes the Hero DLC will be launching this week.
Adverts have appeared within Japanese convenience stores and are said to be removed August 4, which doesn’t give a lot of time for release, so it seems update 4.0.0 and the Hero DLC are likely to hit at the same time or very close together this week.
Blair Witch official gameplay with canine pal in spooky woods
Have your shakiest camcorder ready and pack some Scooby snacks for the dog because the official gameplay trailer for Blair Witch from Lionsgate Games and Bloober Team is out. Jinkies!
The trailer shows some awkward first-person traversal of the woods, a conversation on a not-very-smart phone – and a doggy named Bullet who helps find the way. Our canine pal can also be commanded to ‘seek’, prompting him to wander off and try to find something of interest.
If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…
The game stars troubled former police officer Ellis, who is searching for a missing boy in the Black Hills Forest – and according to local legend, the woods are plagued by a mysterious force. It’s an original story inspired by the lore of Blair Witch.
The PC gameplay trailer gives us a look at “…exploration, commands, combat, environmental interaction, and of course a taste of how players will interact with Bullet.” If you’d like to stumble through the woods in Blair Witch as a washed out cop then you’ll have to wait until August 30.