Georgia reboots digital entertainment incentives program

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On Jan. 1, Georgia hit start on a digital entertainment incentive program to stimulate creation of even more video games and interactive productions. In 2016 the state’s video game industry, supported by a $12.5 million incentive program, generated more than $600 million of economic impact. The new program allows video game studios with more than $250,000 in Georgia payroll to qualify.

“Georgia has taken a giant step forward to becoming a global giant in the fastest-growing media of the 21st century,” said Andrew Greenberg, executive director of the Georgia Game Developers Association. “Revising this program ensures that the state’s creative industries will continue to grow and hire more workers.”

The revised program allows studios to qualify for a 20 percent credit while producing new games. They can receive an additional 10 percent incentive when the game launches if it helps promote Georgia. The new law is responsible for improving how interactive productions are handled and positions the state as a global competitor in this sector.

At least 14 new video game developers started their Georgia operations in 2016. The state industry, which had only eight studios in 2005, had 128 at the end of 2016. The industry employed 3,800 Georgians, earning an estimated $250 million. It brought in $389 million in total revenue.

“It’s important that Georgia remain competitive and maintain its role as a leader in the global marketplace,” said Asante Bradford, project manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “We are incredibly proud that digital entertainment companies continue to take advantage of our pro-business climate, which is one of the many reasons why we are able to tout our No. 1 state for business ranking for five years in a row.”

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