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?

Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you feel about microtransactions in $60 video games?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
Goth_SkunkMGSV: The Phantom Integrity - A Rant by RazörFist. (NSFW on account of language). RazörFist discusses the latest batch of unethical journalist conduct, with a caveat. - http://ow.ly/RwXYT08/29/2015 - 7:10am
Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - http://ow.ly/RwVeT08/29/2015 - 6:12am
Brad GlasgowI can't believe Matt Lees deleted his positive review of Ethan Carter because Chmielarz is sympathetic to GG.08/29/2015 - 5:30am
Goth_SkunkA GameDev's Year With #GG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Adrian Chmielarz - http://ow.ly/RwSCd08/29/2015 - 5:18am
Goth_SkunkDespite not being a fan of fighting games I had to check out that R Mika trailer. Loved it. Still won't buy the game though, on account of Isuckatstreetfighteritis.08/29/2015 - 2:42am
MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
ZippyDSMleeSora-Chan: Blender is easy compared to 3Dmax :P08/28/2015 - 6:51pm
Sora-Chantime to take up a hobby? maybe messing around in GIMP to make wallpapers? use qCAD to design somethin? open Blender and stare at it for a couple hours trying to figure what does what?08/28/2015 - 6:41pm
Big PermAlso, yes. I've been spamming the shoutbox. I don't have much going on today, don't judge me08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Big PermThanks, but yeah. Not sure I wanna drop that kind of cash :P I don't even mind the sound quality of my krakens, it just hurts to wear em after a couple hours.08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Sora-Chan@Big Perm: I'm a bit of a fan of the Omega Recon3D headset from SoundBlaster. Though it is a bit expensive.08/28/2015 - 2:36pm
Big PermI actually need to look into a new headset. I have those green razer krakens and I would not suggest them. Though maybe they're better for people without glasses08/28/2015 - 11:32am
Big PermI've never heard if Apple was dominant in Japan.08/28/2015 - 11:25am
E. Zachary KnightBeats by Dre? If music videos are anything to go by, they are the only headphones in existence.08/28/2015 - 11:21am
Big PermI wonder what kind of headphones she has08/28/2015 - 11:13am
Andrew EisenMy favorite fighter character/costume of late is Lucky Chloe from Tekken 7.08/28/2015 - 10:59am

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician