The reworking of a House Bill aimed at providing incentives to attract film, television and videogame creators to Texas has resulted in a boon for videogame developers.
HB 1634 was originally passed in 2007, offering a $22.0 million pool to pull from in order to offer grants worth 5% of a project’s budget. Unfortunately, as The Austin Chronicle reports, the bill paled in comparison to the offering of other states because of tight terms and high budgetary requirements.
HB 873 was passed in April of this year, and while it featured the same name—The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program—it featured loosened terms and leeway for rules to be reworked on the fly, already resulting in an increase in spending in the state.
While film spending within the state in the wake of the shift from HB 634 to HB 873 stagnated, videogame spending increased. The paper reports on the growth in the game sector:
Last year under HB 1634, there were 33 qualifying applicants statewide, spending $58 million and getting $2 million in grants. Under HB 873, there have already been 19 applicants, investing a total of $62 million and receiving nearly $4 million from the state.
Austin’s share of the $62.0 million dollar pie so far? $43.0 million, causing Tony Schum, Director of Economic Development for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce to state:
All the right mixture of elements are here for us to promote gaming, and these incentives are really an accelerator.
Full details of the The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program can be found here.