Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

August 7, 2009 -

While other American cities and states have been courting the video game industry with incentives and tax breaks in recent years, Philadelphia has largely stood on the sidelines.

But, as Philadelphia City Paper reports, a small team is hoping to change that equation by convincing government officials that encouraging video game development would prevent brain drain and bring jobs and tax dollars to the local economy.

The Videogame Growth Initiative Philadelphia recently pitched its case to state government officials at a meeting in the City of Brotherly Love. From the City Paper's coverage:

The group has two hours to convince representatives of state government that it's worth creating new incentives to lure video game companies to Philly... 

 

Philly might be an ideal city to take advantage of this opportunity. Currently, many video game studios are based out of Silicon Valley, Boston or New York. Philly's comparably low cost of living is attractive. What's more... Philly has... [at] the University of Pennsylvania... the only Ivy League game development program in the country, and graduates are routinely poached by large West Coast-based gaming companies...

There are, however, significant obstacles. The Pennsylvania legislature hasn't been able to reach agreement on a budget which should have been in place by July 1st. The city of Philadelphia itself is habitually in dire financial straits; earlier this week Mayor Michael Nutter warned that he may have to lay off more than a thousand cops and fire fighters.

While state officials suggested that the group try to push already-existing business incentives to entice video game firms, VGI member Hardik Bhatt, himself a developer, was skeptical:

That's still not enough, it's not like other cities don't have these kinds of incentives. I'm hoping it doesn't take a [video game] studio to look into the city and decide to go somewhere else for them to change their minds.

GP: As a Philly native, I pondered the same issue in a November, 2006 column for Joystiq...


Comments

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Philadelphia still has a lot of taxes even if they gave game designing companies a break people would still have to move and live there. And the city is like all in the Rust Belt. It’s old you’ll be surrounding by a ghetto not to mention schools which are not that are and your pretty much sending your kid in with a bunch of hooligans who act like they are in a County Prison.
 

Texas is a good choice but recently they have had a lot of carpet bagger Democrats move there and sadly they are starting to elect the same people who set policies and laws that ruined there own state there. 

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

I could see Montreal or Vancouver becoming the gaming Mecca. Philly, not so much. But really, I don't think we are going to have the gaming Hollywood.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

A gaming Mecca would be a place that gamers from all over the world would want to travel to once in their life. And that place is E3... well it was up until 2007.

What this group hopes to create is more of a gaming Vatican or a gaming Salt Lake City.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Guess that means I should pray east then... 

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

"Mayor Michael Nutter warned that he may have to lay off more than a thousand cops and fire fighters."

Thank God he is getting rid of those unneccessary positions instead of just laying down a pay cut to political positions or anything like that. It isn't like people commit crimes or fires occur in Philly afterall.

"

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Thats title is ironic because Philadelphia has alot of muslims.

 

Stupidity has made us laugh since forever

Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

I wish those gamers plenty of luck getting those incentives.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Philly does need _something_ done.  Recruiting and retention are a nightmare.

Right now if you want game developers you need to hire them from out of state.  When people quit local game companies they tend to leave the region.  There is almost no social networking between companies and few developers here even know what other companies are local!  This is esp frustrating given how many cool things are being done in this area, esp in the realm of seroius or military games.

The local IGDA has helped quite a bit, but few companies have members that particpate in it.

Unfortunatly the local tech culture is highly oriented to banking and biomedical.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Will people just make games I don't care what city in the U.S. the game is made. The only obvious difference I'll be able to point out is the country like western games made in NA/CA and eastern games made in JP I'm not gonna open a game and say "Oh is this game was made a philly"

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

As a consumer you have no reason to care, but developers and industry people care quite a bit.

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

Yes, having another option for game developers to work at is of great important. Woe are the aspiring game developers who live in the South. Their best bet for a high profile job is to move to Texas.

GameSnooper

Re: Group Hopes to Turn Philadelphia Into a Gaming Mecca

It used to be a *retro*-gaming Mecca... Remember PhillyClassic?

 
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MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
Andrew EisenAccounts are already linked. Have been for quite a while. Also, Mario vs. Donkey Kong was announced as a cross-buy title during last January's Nintendo Direct.02/27/2015 - 9:25pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/20…/…/27/olli-olli-3ds-wii-u-cross-buy/ I wounder if this is a sign that Nintendo may finally link accounts across the 3ds/wiiu in the near future.02/27/2015 - 9:18pm
prh99http://www.romanoriginals.co.uk/invt/70931?colour=Blue The dress does comes in white and blue but both have black lace and a sheer back top, I don't see gold or brown. 02/27/2015 - 8:54pm
ZippyDSMleeDungeons was a so bad so good game to me so I been keeping up with its sequel which will more of a Dungeon Keeper clone. As for pre order out of 7 preorders I was not burnt by 2... Add my contempt of most of modern game design.Ya I have all kinds of hurt.02/27/2015 - 8:40pm
MechaTama31I don't even want to know...02/27/2015 - 8:22pm
ZippyDSMleeFun? I can do fun…. I think LOL. Dungeons 2 is on preorder but not via steam... >> Hell I am breaking all kinds of personal butthurt rules to even THINK about pre order...02/27/2015 - 8:12pm
E. Zachary KnightHad some fun discussions about that dumb dress on Facebook. I opened the original picture in GIMP and sampled the colors and determined them to be Blue and Gold. People still say I am wrong.02/27/2015 - 7:41pm
ConsterTime for something completely different: #teamwhiteandgoldllama!02/27/2015 - 7:27pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: I'll try. ^^02/27/2015 - 5:40pm
 

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