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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Andrew EisenI understand the skepticism but I don't think "this will never work" and "no one should even bother" are very healthy attitudes.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Andrew EisenWhy would you doubt that? A lot of writers are my age and older, the perfect age to be fans of the content. All I'm saying is it's not impossible to get a good Robotech movie. In fact, it's more likely today than any other time.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Matthew Wilson@AE the difference is in the case of marvel the writers and directors clearly understand the source content. I doubt many of any of them are that way with robotech, or any anime for that matter.03/27/2015 - 11:10am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.playstationtrophies.org/news/news-15838-Sony-Cuts-the-Price-of-PlayStation-TV-Today.html Sony cuts the price of the Vita TV in the UK, still wont force developers to make their stuff compatible with it.03/27/2015 - 10:49am
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - It's true, there are a lot of examples of crap adaptations. But there are increasing numbers of great adaptations such as the Marvel movies. That said, it's certainly going to be an uphill battle at Sony, especially with Tom Rothman around.03/27/2015 - 10:45am
ZippyDSMleeOh live action crap...I dunno with hollywood being stuck in the 90s grimdarkblack mode I can not see how anything would work well other than SNK or Akira.. then again Akira is a bit of head trip...03/27/2015 - 10:11am
MechaCrashI meant Hollywood in general. If they did a Robotech movie, it'd just be a slightly tweaked Macross, because usually when people talk about Robotech, they just mean the first third. Nobody cares about the Masters/Southern Cross or Invid/MOSPAEDA stuff.03/27/2015 - 9:36am
ZippyDSMleeYes Macross is good..... robotech....not so much..... Now Pizza Cats that's the definitive TV dub, if not best dub ever I'd put it up there with COwboy Bebop just becuse the Pizza Cats dub is fun as heck and crazy,Medabots and Fighting Foodons are decent.03/27/2015 - 9:20am
InfophileAged well plot-wise, I mean. The animation is showing its age, but if you don't mind that, the plot holds up quite well03/27/2015 - 6:52am
InfophileRobotech may be 30 years old, but it's actually aged pretty well. Plus, one of the three Japanese franchises that went into making it, Macross, is coming out with a new series soon. So it's far from forgotten or out-of-date03/27/2015 - 6:50am
ZippyDSMleePapa Midnight: Care to take a look at this and tell me what you think about it? http://www.amazon.com/Frisby-FS-5010BT-Surround-Speakers-Bluetooth/dp/B00EYX1N2S/03/26/2015 - 10:27pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I think he means both.03/26/2015 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeuhg either a nap after being up 30 hours or working on my comp blah. Oh wow when did the the all shout box page show 3 times as many shouts 0-o03/26/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - Sony in particular or Hollywood in general?03/26/2015 - 7:38pm
Matthew Wilson@mach no way in hell, so that is why I want them to stay away.03/26/2015 - 7:21pm
MechaCrash"Get the movie right" is preferable to "stay away," but do you really think they won't screw it up?03/26/2015 - 7:19pm
Craig R.And yes, 90's games. Damn near all of my fav computer & console games were from that decade03/26/2015 - 7:00pm
Craig R.I'd take the NCAA seriously if they'd bite instead of bark03/26/2015 - 6:59pm
Andrew EisenConster - Sure, give me a few minutes.03/26/2015 - 3:05pm
Consterhttp://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/03/26/salesforce-ceo-says-company-is-cancelling-all-programs-in-indiana-over-lgbt-discrimination-fears/ http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/25/politics/mike-pence-religious-freedom-bill-gay-rights/index.html03/26/2015 - 2:55pm
 

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