ESA Boss Lauds Texas Game Dev Incentives, Dings Content Restrictions

Love the incentives, hate the content restrictions.

As reported by the Austin American-Statesman, that pretty much sums up what ESA CEO Michael Gallagher told the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce during a recent visit to Texas. While praising a grant package for film makers and game developers passed in 2007, Gallagher rightly criticized:

…a content requirement about not disparaging Texas. Those types of speech restrictions in general are not viewed in favor by the courts. They tend to lead to a lot of problems down the road.

The ESA boss reminded the Chamber crowd that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) gave the keynote at this year’s E3 (although he probably avoided mentioning how few E3 attendees showed up for the Guv).

The newspaper also mentions a concern that some Texas politicos have about providing grants to developers:

Legislators are warming to the idea of providing state funds to video game companies, but there is still some reluctance. Some fear that a political opponent could accuse them of voting to spend state funds on games like the violent "Grand Theft Auto."

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  1. 0
    Doomsong says:

    Where you from son?

         Texas sir!

    Holy @#$%, the only things that come outta Texas are steers and E-rated video games, and you ain’t got no horns.. that sorta narrows it down. Do you play Viva Pinata?

         Sir no sir!!

    Bull@#$%!!! I bet you’ve got the most vibrant garden of them all!!!

  2. 0
    Erik says:

    And what I’m saying is that the video game industry, even the ones who make exclusively M rated games, need to tell Texas to take their tax incentive and shove it up their ass.  Then for even daring make such an underhanded offer make a game that completely lampoons the state.  But this won’t happen because, as I have stated earlier, the industry has no balls.  Rockstar adding the LSD filters to Manhunt 2 to pacify the ESRB and BBFC are testament to that.


    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  3. 0
    J.Alpha.Gamma says:

    That’s a bad analogy. Game ratings and people’s names have nothing in common.

    Texas isn’t saying "Don’t make M games." They’re saying "Don’t make games with these types of content, and we’ll give you a tax break." And from what I can see (and correct me if I’m wrong, informed GPers), most of the content they’re talking about has more to do with disrespecting the state than it does a Thompsonian ban on anything M-rated.

  4. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    No that’s arbitrary whereas the incentive thing is conditional. A better analogy would be that people signed up for organ donation or who regularly give blood would get tax breaks but ones who don’t would miss out.

  5. 0
    Erik says:

    Giving a bias towards E games over M rated ones is nearly as bad as saying "You can’t make matures games here".  Would you be okay if people whose last names started a letter yours didn’t start with got a tax break and you didn’t?  I mean its not like the state is saying you can’t have that name right?

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  6. 0
    Loudspeaker says:

    That’s quite a sadistic way to look at it.  What’s wrong with a state saying they’d like to promote E for Everyone gaming companies?  There’s THOUSANDS of those and they do bring in the most dollars.  Seems like good business to me.  Honestly they’ve simply given other states the opportunity to reel in companies who focus on making more mature game content.  I don’t see any censorship here.  Texas isn’t saying "You can’t make mature games here." They’re simply saying those who make games targeted at everyone get incentives.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  7. 0
    Erik says:

    Yes that is exactly what I am saying.  Shoot the horse and then you don’t have to worry about the Trojans inside of it.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  8. 0

    Sorry Gallhager, but the ESA still sucks ass.


    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! -The Buck Stops Here. -Thou Shall Not Teamkill, Asshole.

  9. 0
    Erik says:

    I said it before and I’ll say it again:  If the video game industry had any balls whatsoever they would tell Texas to shove this "incentive" up their ass.  But its fairly obvious at this point that they do not have any balls.  The proof of that is staggering.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  10. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    So, you’re advising the video games industry to not just look their gift horse in the mouth, but shoot the horse too? Fanatacism is not the way to get support.

  11. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    The movie industry has the same caveat applied to it. I don’t really see the "don’t disparage Texas" clause as being used against games, though. The extent to which "violent content" as cause for refusal will affect the games industry has yet to be determined, and the restriction is likely very loose, given that the first tax credit was awarded to a war game.

  12. 0
    Zevorick says:

    Its very… very frivolous and stupid. I could care less if someone makes fun of Texas to be honest. I love this state, but you got to draw a line between "state pride" and "state stupidity". That being said, the presence of the video game industry in Austin is nice for our economy.

  13. 0
    Conejo says:

    oh come on!  it’s friggen TEXAS! they love shooting people, why are they going to get their panties in a wad over a new GTA?

    besides, nobody really makes fun of Texas much anyway, just some of the yokels who reside there.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  14. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    If the government doesn’t want taxpayer’s money spent on making violent or ojectionable games then that fine by me so long as they don’t restrict or censor the creation or dissemination of the games or any other Free Speech media in general. The government can’t decide what people can or can’t watch/play/read or listen to but they can decide that taxpayer’s money shouldn’t go to it. That doesn’t restrict Free Speech IMHO.

    "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

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