Lending support to the ongoing campaign to provide tax credits to New York-based game development, the NYU Game Center joined Senator Martin Golden and Assemblymember Joseph Lentol at a City Hall press conference today.
Lending support to the ongoing campaign to provide tax credits to New York-based game development, the NYU Game Center joined Senator Martin Golden and Assemblymember Joseph Lentol at a City Hall press conference today, urging Governor Cuomo to sign the Empire State Digital Gaming Media Production Credit (A.10083/S.7485) bill into law.
The bill, which has been passed by both legislative houses in Albany, would offset 25 percent of digital gaming production expenses such as for property used or wages and salaries paid to game developers for areas including concept creation and game design done within the state. The goal of the incentives is to grow New York’s share of the $25 billion U.S. gaming industry, which is currently estimated at roughly one percent. The incentives are similar to those currently available to the film and television industries.
“New York has always been a world capital for creative industries, attracting the most talented and ambitious people from around the globe. As games continue to grow in creative power and commercial impact, we have the potential to become a thriving hub for what may be the most important and influential cultural form of the 21st century,” said Frank Lantz, chair of the NYU Game Center at the Tisch School of the Arts. “We are excited that our legislators are committed to providing the support needed to make this vision a reality.”
According to Empire State Development, which administers a similar film tax credit, the state earmarks $420 million per year in tax credits to film and television productions, allowing for a 30 percent reduction to below-the-line expenses, which covers everything but the director, producer, writers, and actors with starring roles. A study by Boston Consulting Group estimated the tax credits directly resulted in an increase of 30,000 jobs since 2004, and contributed an additional $2 billion to the local economy. The recently passed legislation aims to have a similar impact on growing the digital gaming industry in New York. It also includes credits for the music production industry. If signed by the Governor, the digital gaming tax credits would be available starting in 2017.
"It is essential that New York enacts this program to jump start our dormant music and digital gaming industries,” said Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn). “I applaud my colleagues in the State Legislature for passing this bill and I urge Governor Cuomo to sign this into law. I am so confident that this legislation will achieve its goal, and provide the leadership we desperately need in New York to grow these two dynamic sectors that deserve to have the Empire State as their global centers."
“Governor Cuomo has an opportunity to not only revive the music industry, but to strengthen and regain our video game production industry, which we have also lost to other states. Now is the time for Governor Cuomo to support two incredibly creative industries. I urge him to sign the Empire State Music Production Credit and the Empire State Digital Gaming Media Production Credit into law,” said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D, Brooklyn).
Since its establishment in 2008, the NYU Game Center has consistently offered free and public events to a growing community of games enthusiasts, including the Lecture Series, No Quarter, and the 2016 Global Game Jam. These events will serve as the cornerstone of Brooklyn’s new Game Development Hub, which thanks to ESD support, will also encompass new initiatives, such as expanding the successful NYU Game Center incubator to include developers outside NYU. The Center will also be soliciting suggestions from local game makers, students, and gaming enthusiasts in the community over the coming months regarding what they’d like to see the Hub develop. For more information on submitting ideas, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.