Becker College administrators, elected officials and other interested parties want the video game industry to grow in Massachusetts. A recent series of pitches at the Southboro, Mass.-campus attempted to kick start the process at the college level. Through education and tax credits and other incentives at the state level, Massachusetts can be a more attractive location for game companies, echoed many of the speakers.
To that end, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray announced at the conference held at Becker College this week that a campus-based policy and research institute will be established.
Over the next 90 days, state officials and administrators at the college will work to establish that institute. Murray said the state would also work toward implementing a broader plan to support the video game industry.
"We think there’s a unique opportunity right now to begin work on this comprehensive statewide plan," Mr. Murray said.
Becker College President Robert E. Johnson said he was "thrilled by the designation," even though it does not come with any state funding. Investment could come from the private sector, he said. Murray said that the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative might be able to provide some seed money to get the institute up and running.
The goal of the institute is to create a hub where members of the public and private sectors and academia can meet to share ideas about how to prepare students to work in the video game industry. The other stated goal is to discuss ideas about keeping the industry growing in Massachusetts.
After losing 38 Studios to Rhode Island, state officials are concerned that this industry sector could leave Massachusetts in droves for greener, pro-industry pastures such as Quebec, Georgia, and Texas.
The Massachusetts Video Game Institute at Becker College is scheduled to open next fall.