Georgia Investigates Game Industry Incentives

Following on from the apparently successful efforts of the Louisiana Game Developers Association to implement state tax cre...
Following on from the apparently successful efforts of the Louisiana Game Developers Association to implement state tax credits for game developers, in hopes of attracting the game industry to set up shop within the state, Georgia is now considering enacting similar legislature in the hopes of becoming a major player in games, according to a report in the Savannah Business Report & Journal. The Georgia General Assembly has already passed a multimedia benefits bill similar to the Louisiana bill, granting tax credits to both film and video game businesses that set up in Georgia. Game developers or publishers get a 9 percent tax credit to expenditures within Georgia, such as labor, materials, and service, and a 3 percent credit on employee salaries within Georgia facilities. Should the company set up in an underdeveloped Georgia county, the state will grant an addition 3 percent credit toward expenditures and production time. In addition to the already-enacted benefits program, Georgia is considering other ways to reward game developers for choosing to open branches within the state. The General Assembly has formed the House Film and Video Game Technology Study Committee to develop methods to attract long-lasting production studios. "We don't think movies are where the future of film is," said panel chairman Rep. John Stephens to the Savannah Business Report. "We believe it's going to be in the development of graphic design and games, even interactive games. We see a shift away from basic television, watching TV, to an interactive market in a very short period of time." Stephens pointed to Atlanta-based GameTap, a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting, as an indication of how gaming was already becoming an economic force in Georgia.

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