More than 25,000 people are bringing their laptops to the Georgia World Congress Center on Friday to play video games at DreamHack.
DreamHack, one of the world’s largest gaming festivals, is based out of Sweden and looking to expand to the United States. This week, it’s making its debut in Atlanta, thanks in part to a generous state tax credit.
Michael Van Driel, chief product officer of DreamHack, said they chose to hold their festival in Atlanta because it was a dark horse.
“As a European company looking at gaming, you hear a lot about California as the center of the universe,” Van Driel said. “The more we dug into it, actually Atlanta has a really big community here.”
The growth can partly be attributed to state tax incentives, said Emory economist Tom Smith. He teaches a class on the economics and financing of film.
“You’re getting a lot more companies coming to town saying, ‘OK, we can set up shop here,’ if you have the tax credit and you have demand, companies in Georgia that are promoting eSports. You have a big company like Turner, who’s in town, who’s creating an eSports branch,” Smith said. “You’ve got these big eSports events that are taking place. So you have this perfect storm of supply and demand for a market to take off, and it’s quite impressive.”
See more at WABE.