Which is the best country to be an Indie game dev?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Merx, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Merx

    Indie Author

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    I have been thinking about emigrating for some time now (based in the UK) and was wondering which country would be best to move to?

    Factors to consider Tax, existing Indie enviroment, climate, culture, scenery, living expenses?

    Also immigration visas how successful an indie developer would you need to be to get in, or would you need to get a mainstream IT job to gain entry?

    Being from the UK, Canada, Austraila and New Zealand are top of my list ( not multi-lingual).

    Not keen on America, I've seen too many films from there and they have guns and their cars seem to blow up a lot :rolleyes: !
     
  2. Indinera

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    The one where $1 equals 1000's of the local currency :p ;)
     
  3. Grey Alien

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    Canada is really nice and Vancouver has lots of game programmers and is near to Seattle which is a Casual hub. But taxes are high here and so is housing. Weather is generally good in the spring, summer, autumn, but it does rain a lot in the winter.

    I still think the UK is good place if you live in the South (better weather) during the summer but I'd still prefer to live somewhere nicer in the winter. The countryside in England is very nice too. Both Canada and England have a national health care system, so that's cool.

    May well check out New Zealand one day...
     
  4. Merx

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    So Indonesia Rupiahs at 9,260 to the $1 usd sounds good...

    No no, Vietnam Dong 18,550 to the $1, but do they have good broadband?

    Iran also have nearly 10,000 to 1 currecy ratio but I think they don't have the best boradband something to do with freedom of speach!
     
  5. spoiltvictorian

    spoiltvictorian New Member

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    Thanks to the Internet, the least expensive country with reliable Internet is the best one.
     
  6. Merx

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    Canada does sound nice but I always think of it as being a cold wintery place with great big grizzly bears (did I mention that I watch too much TV)?

    I've been to New Zealand on holiday and I have to say it's a beatiful country, but the low population count takes getting used to... Think of all those car adverts where they are the only vehicles on the road with great scenery and you'll have some idea of what it's like. :)

    Australia sounds nice, hot weather but some scary critters. Apparently not the fastest broadband, with some kind of government based cyber nanny filtering system.
     
  7. Scurvy Lobster

    Scurvy Lobster New Member

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    Come to Denmark!

    - Taxes start at only 50% for people with low income. Perfect for indies! :D

    - You will never feel lonely. There are at least around 200 people here working professionally with games. Only problem is finding them among the 5.5million inhabitants...

    - Get the wonderful Scandinavian weather on top of that completely free. You being a brit that could actually mean an improvement ;)
     
    #7 Scurvy Lobster, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  8. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Clearly then, Zimbabwe is the choice. Aren't they over a million percent inflation now?

    I'm moving to Spain in a few years. I think it offers the best combo of stuff generally, unless you need something to happen involving the local bureaucracy.

    EDIT: Hmmm, even the acceleration is accelerating. It's well over 2 million percent now....
     
  9. Escapee

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    Malaysia, 1 USD = 3.4 Malaysian monies, multicultural ( Malay, Chinese, Indian and others ), cheap & delicious food, English speaking (former colony of The Mighty British Empire), affordable accommodation, no natural disaster (ie earthquake, tsunami, snow storm, etc) , Low tax (0-28%), high degree of freedom of press, tropical weather 365 days without extremely high temperature as experienced in other countries, ranked 5th according to world's friendliest nation survey done by HSBC Bank International.

    The most obvious downside here is we lack quality infrastructures (Ie High speed public transport) as found in developed nations such as in Japan, Europe, etc.

    Malaysia Loves You And Welcome You with Open Arms. :D
     
    #9 Escapee, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  10. TimS

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    Actually it stopped, and the Zim Dollar is no longer in use.

    I totally missed my chance to move there when inflation was at 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent...

    Merx -- while our cars don't REALLY blow up a lot and we don't REALLY all have guns... the U.S. isn't really the place to be right now for business. There's a bit of a red-tape tornado passing through at the moment, and it's only getting worse.
     
  11. PoV

    PoV
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    According to this thread, Bangladesh. ;)

    I'm biased, but Canada is nice since it practically has all the media advantages of the US (all movies and games tend to be released same day in both countries). You probably want to be in North America (i.e. Canada and US) if Apple/Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft consoles and mobiles matter to you.

    I've heard New Zealand has some wacky "no tax for 4 years" for business incentive though.
     
    #11 PoV, Feb 18, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  12. Merx

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    http://www.workingin-newzealand.com/money-and-costs/finance-and-tax/temporary-exemption

    Yep 49 months tax exemption for offshore earnings that fit the criteria and royalties qualify!

    I think what I need is a good enough business to pay for a working holiday around the world, let's face it as an indie games developer you only really need a laptop and broadband, :rolleyes: you could just be sitting on the veranda with an amazing view while typing up your next great casual/indie title...

    Has anyone managed to break free of the Rat Race to that level, is it possible?

    And how would that work with visa's what about film crews or tourism reporters do they apply for a holiday visa and work anyway, would you be getting into lot's of silly tax issues if you worked around the world on a 'busmans' indie/casual games developer 'holiday'?:confused:

    NB: I'm a 'bit' over 30 so not applicable for working holiday visa! :eek:
     
    #12 Merx, Feb 18, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  13. ragdollsoft

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    Portugal sounds cheap and fun. Anyone from there?
     
  14. Jack Norton

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    Well NZ is clearly the winner here...is cheap, not overpopulated (but if you want to stay in middle of people just go to the big cities there), english speaking (try to learn portuguese or other languages) and at same time the quality of life is good.
    There are some other places who have probably lower cost of living but I'm not really sure about the quality! (example portugal)
     
  15. kglarsen

    kglarsen New Member

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    Just a comment.
    You sound like moving to a different country is something "that you just do". I mean moving to a completely foreign country to pursuit a "career" is a REALLY big step to take.
    I mean does your "career" really mean more that the fact that you won't be able to see your friends and family on a daily basis? Besides moving to a foreign country where you don't know anyone can make you feel quite lonely at times.... You'll probably then go "Oh, I'll just find other Indie-Game makers, so we can hang out together and make games....." :( It just seems to be a bit of a romantic idea to do such thing - there are hundreds of considerations to make before you move away from home.

    I have one friend here from Denmark who has moved to New York. She moved because she's studying some chemistry-stuff, something with proteins (never mind)... She couldn't find a position here in Denmark, so she was more or less forced to move to a foreign country. Now she has realised that New York is really far away! So now she's going to look for similar positions in the UK or France. But again, this is a PROFESSIONAL career...
    I'm sorry, but I really don't consider making small indie-games a professional career.... I mean you must have something else to do with a brighter future.

    That's just my thoughts.
     
  16. Moose2000

    Moose2000 New Member

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    Pretty much. I tend to skulk indoors with my back to the view while I'm actually doing the typing, but it's nice to know it's there.
     
  17. PoV

    PoV
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    I've thought about the Japan one, but it's not a cost savings or career thing. It's about the challenge. Dive head-first in to the land of moon speak... Of course, only after the business runs itself.

    Then you're on the wrong forum (again).
     
  18. haidme

    haidme New Member

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    Well here in Bulgaria, indie-games career is definitely possible. We have a good game industry and a lot of game developers. We are in EU ,not far from UK, just 2 hours flight. You don't need a visa or something to live here. The nature is really beautiful.
    1$=1.53 bulgarian leva, but living expenses are really low, cause everything is cheaper, than in most EU countries and taxes are low, about 20% of your yearly income.
    For example, you need to sell 1500-2000 copies of your game for 7-8 Euro to live comfortable here for a hole year.
     
    #18 haidme, Feb 18, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  19. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    I'm not from there but I believe the minimum salary is 450 euros which is a bit less than $650

    As long as you are making more each month than the minimum salary, why is it not a career?

    10K euro in one year in Bulgaria makes you wayyy above the minimum salarty I would say lol
     
  20. haidme

    haidme New Member

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    You are right, but I'm not talking about minimum salary. The minimum salary here is around 120 Euro. I was talking about living a good life here with indie games development.
     

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