Even after losing Curt Schilling and his 38 Studios to neighboring Rhode Island, indications are that Massachusetts still has no plans to institute incentives or tax credits designed to lure, or keep in place, game development companies.
To be fair, Schilling’s deal with the Ocean State, in which his company initially received a guaranteed $75 million loan, before it was pared to approximately $51 million, was an incentive that was more-or-less created (or expanded anyway) to entice a single company.
In an article on the Telegram website, State Representative Vincent Pedone (D-Worcester) called tailor-made incentives targeting a single firm bad policy, but noted that creating them for an entire industry has proven valuable in the past, with the example given of the state’s now thriving biotech industry.
Pedone, who “expects the Legislature to consider proposals for incentives in its next session,” added, “We want to capture the industry before other states capture it, and even given the economic downturn, now is the correct time.”
Kofi Jones, however, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development, said, “It is not our intention in this fiscal climate to introduce that credit.”
Michael Cavaretta from Cambridge’s MIT Enterprise Forum suggested that additional help for developers could come in the form of business incubators, a central facility or subsidized rents. He added, “I think it makes a lot of sense for us to focus on the industry.”