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Texas Gov. Signs Entertainment Industry Incentive Bill

Governor Rick Perry of Texas signed today HB873, a bill that uses cash grants to give game developers more incentive to conduct business within the state.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas signed today HB873, a bill that will give game developers more incentive to conduct business within the state. The Entertainment Software Association lauded Perry's decision, as the bill, in part, intends to encourage growth of the games industry in Texas, which is home to about 90 game development companies. Perry's signing of the bill will come just a few weeks after ESA head Michael Gallagher published an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman that singled out Texas as falling behind the interactive entertainment curve. But Gallagher today called Perry's actions, which allows game developers making projects of $100,000 or greater to receive a payment 5% of the total Texas-based expenditure -- up to 7.5% if 'under-utilized areas' are used -- "quick and decisive." HB873 pertains to Texas' Music, Film, Television, and Multimedia Office -- the bill extends beyond video games. In an analysis of the bill, Democratic Representative Dawnna Dukes acknowledged that Texas "has fallen behind other states in attracting moving image productions." HB873 is meant to rectify that shortfall by increasing the size of the grants for eligible productions, and lowering the requirements of grant eligibility. The ESA cited a Texas report that pegged the state's video game industry value at $149 million, a figure the trade group claims "[far exceeds] all other entertainment ventures, including studio feature film, television, animation and commercials production."

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