Georgia Legislators Pass Tax Breaks for Video Game & Film Productions

March 7, 2008 -
Could Georgia become the latest destination state for video game developers and filmmakers?

Elected officials hope so.

As reported by the Macon Telegraph, Georgia's House of Representatives unanimously voted yesterday to pass a bill extending tax incentives to movie and game production:
House Bill 1100 would give movie, TV and video game producers up to a 20 percent income tax credit on spending of at least $500,000, more than double the current 9 percent tax break.

Bill sponsor Rep. Ron Stephens (R) noted that Georgia lost out on the Ray Charles biopic, Ray, due to a superior incentive package offered by Louisiana.

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Re: Georgia Legislators Pass Tax Breaks for Video Game & Film

 

GWINNETT TECHNICAL COLLEGE
in Lawrenceville, GA offers a Technical Certificate of Credit, a Diploma, and an Associate Degree in Simulation/Game Development. We were contacted by several gaming companies in the North Georgia area and asked to work with them to develop a program to fill the urgent needs they had (and still have) for graduates with specific skills not taught anywhere here in Georgia. These companies had and have no trouble hiring good local talent for their artistic and graphic requirements; however, they had and still have no talent pool to draw on from this area. Virtually all have to pay huge bonus incentives to hire people away from other areas of the country that have more established gaming centers. We in conjunction with these game companies and consultation with other companies and schools and university’s across the country settled on a program very much like the one offered at Southern Methodist University.
GTC’s Simulation/Game Developer program consists of a sequence of courses designed to provide students with an understanding of the concepts, principles, and techniques required in the development of computer games. Program graduates will be competent in the general areas of humanities or fine arts, social or behavioral sciences, and natural sciences or mathematics, as well as in the technical areas of computer terminology and concepts, program design and development, game design, gaming artificial intelligence, and game physics. Program graduates will be qualified for employment as game designers and game programmers.
The specific technical courses are:
Three computer languages: PHP, Python, and C++
Two Game Development courses.
Two 2 and 3-D Physics courses.
Two Game Artificial Intelligence courses.
We are currently looking into articulation agreements with schools in the area that teach the art and graphic side of gaming to provide our and their students with the opportunity to expand their gaming education to include both these aspects.
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Take not that tax breaks seem to pass much more easily than anti game legislation.

PS: That pic is really freakin creepy.

well, this is definitely better than another legislation bill.

That is the creepiest freakin picture you could possibly show to represent Georgia.

I have some friends in Georgia that are indie developers like me, so I'm sure this will help them out.

I also agree, that picture is very, very creepy...

See, and everyone else said that my Geiger Counter was broken. This picture proves them wrong.

What's creepy is when you eat those peaches... shudder.

I know a guy who knows a guy who lives in Georgia. I don't recall much in the way of gaming there.

Okay... Does that peach look like Al Gore to anybody else?

That picture screams, "welcome to Georgia, kids, NOW COME OVER HERE SO I CAN FUCK YOU HARD".

As a resident of Georgia, I'm proud that my state hasn't attempted any anti-game legislation. From what I understand, the only laws relating to games are like this one or were done with the cooperation of the ESRB.

Yeah, that peach is kinda creepy.

Well, props to Georgia. Tax cuts FTW.

Glad to see another state in support of the game industry. I hope this continues to spread.

Also that peach is creepy. I may never be able to eat another peach again. They could have at least made it female.

See Britain, that's how it should be done! (the tax break, not the creepy picture)

"Also that peach is creepy. I may never be able to eat another peach again. They could have at least made it female. "

So to you, a walking FEMALE peach with a disturbing grin is nowhere near as creepy as its male counterpart?

Anyway, what part of the peach indicates that it's a male?

"Ga. House passes movie tax break"

Ah, it's a "movie" tax break. I wonder if it's being presented that way in the state congress, too? That could help get it passed.

I see Georgia as a great place to start-up a game developing studio or a great place to get an education.

So there are tax incentives and there are great colleges for game development. I see a bright future for Georgia. At least I hope so, because I plan to spend quite a bit of time in Georgia.

Glad to see a state being pro game.

This isn't the first time Georgia has made a move to woo an industry to their state. They did the same thing with areospace and Boeing. Not to mention it worked.

...and yes. The peach is a creepy child molester *shudders*

This most definately covers the gaming industry, and not just TV and movies. They already have a person in the Department of Economic Development who is actively seeking video game companies to come to Georgia. Mostly from outside of the country - the CCP acquisition of White Wolf comes to mind. CCP, the makers of Eve Online based in Iceland, wanted a US base, and they chose White Wolf's existing facility in Stone Mountain.

I also know that our governor took a trip to South Korea to attempt to convince several companies - including video game companies - to open up a US base of operations in Georgia. As far as I can tell, they are VERY serious about this.

Their big draw is the game design curriculum at Georgia Tech, Art Institute of Atlanta, and Savannah College of Art and Design. The Georgia game development scene has exploded in the past few years, not only with CCP/White Wolf, but with Gametap and Cartoon Network Game Studios all located here within Turner's conglomerate. My only PERSONAL worry is that just about every game studio I spoke with at the recent SIEGE conference here in Atlanta last year were making PC MMO's, which means that if we do see anything significant coming out of the Georgia game industry, it will be in 3-5 years at least. Nobody around here is working on console titles, they're all trying to make the next WoW.

This is awesome. Also, we need to kill that creepy ass peach.

I didn't know my state was represented by a pedophilic peach. Anyways, that's basically the most awesomething of all time.

That's a frightening peach. I mean, "nightmares in your sleep" creepy.

Regardless, Georgia could have a nice thing going for indie developers. The new frontier of indie gaming?

@ Ian Cooper

The facial features are obviously masculine. As for the female comment, yes a femal peach would be considerably less creepy, but still creepy.

Yeah, my home state sucks a little less now.

God I'm SO glad that I'm not the only one who saw the peach & thought paedophile.

Also, if games make people kill and georgia is advocating the creation of games, does that make georgia complicit in the next murder where either the murderer or victim have had some tenuous & peripheral connection to games such as living near a game shop or having once played football which is often simulated in games?

Good to see another state stand up and take the opportunity of creating jobs and business of a $9 billion a year industry. Hopefully they will reap the rewards of inviting these folks into their state to work and live.

Isn't the new CCP aquisition, White Wolf, in Atlanta?

/thumbs up to Georgia

Great break for develepers, maybe lawmakers are begining to accept video games!

Problem is, the tax breaks are on individual projects where over $500,000 is spent. A lot of indie and educational game devs in the state won't qualify at all.

I hope the GA game industry grows in leaps and bounds though, because I'd love to come back to Atlanta in a few years. Its a good-sized city with lots to do and its a hell of a lot cheaper to live in than SF, LA, DC, NYC, and Boston. As it is, though, I'm moving to San Francisco after graduating from Georgia Tech this May.

Well, as developers based in Roswell, GA, we are obviously very happy to see the invesment incentives increased. While we do share the concern that the minimum investment level of $500,000 doesn't directly encourage start-ups, it is certainly useful for growing companies, such as ourselves. Also has to be a big draw to the much larger, established companies seeking to keep their costs down!

We've already started working with the local colleges and hope to do a lot more over the next coupe of years.

And, for Bobby Blackwolf: not ALL Georgia's developers are building MMOs! We build FPS for PC and Console - our first title was released a couple of years back, sold in stores throughout the US and is still on the store shelves in Europe. You obviously didn't attend my session at SIEGE :)
 
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