Texas Film Commission Increases Incentives for Video Game Industry

Texas wants more video game companies creating jobs in the state, so in an effort to make the state a more enticing location, the Texas Film Commission announced plans to increase incentives for the gaming industry to a level equivalent to what is currently given to film and television projects. Under the new rules, video game companies will be able to apply for grants that will give back up to 15 percent "of eligible in-state spending paid to Texas residents." This is a five percent increase over previous incentives.

The changes will take effect Aug. 28, timed to coincide with the commission's new fiscal year, which starts Sept. 1. Film Commission director Evan Fitzmaurice said that this new increase is recognition of the economic impact that video game jobs have had in the state. He used Electronic Arts' recent announcement that it would expand its presence in Austin, bringing 300 jobs and a division of its EA Sports studio.

"These are great jobs for Texas," Fitzmaurice said.

Last month, Gov. Rick Perry said he wants the state to become the nation's leader in video game development. California currently holds that title. EA credits the incentives for helping their expansion in Texas.

"The game industry has responded favorably to the incentives offered by the Texas legislature," said Jeff Brown, EA's senior vice president of public affairs.

Source: The Statesmen

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