Incentive programs aren’t just for film. The interactive and gaming worlds have tapped into incentive driven funding as well. The UK and Montreal are two areas that have implemented tax incentive programs for game developers, comparable to those offered to film production. The UK’s game incentive program was set to go in effect this April. The plan offers a 25% tax credit for video game producers.
In North America, Canada has seen the economic growth from video game-focused incentive programs. Montreal has quickly become a hub for such development. The city offers video game developers a 37.5% tax break, one of the highest in North America, if not the world. According to Variety, Montreal’s incentive has led to a giant growth in workers in this industry; it is estimated that almost half of all of Canada’s video game developers reside in the city.
According to the Washington State Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington is home to somewhere between 9,900- 27,680 computer programmers. With creative and tech industries in our own backyard, Washington has the resources to become a top producer in the video game industry. Combine that with an incentive tailored to video game producers, and the possibilities are endless.
While Washington State’s film incentive is not designed to support video game development, the film industry and gaming industry are often interdependent and benefit from being closely tied. Cast and crew frequently earn a living by working in both worlds. Other jurisdictions seem to be catching on to the value of fostering economic development in both of these sectors.
Local economic development in the video game industry can be seen most through efforts like the Washington Interactive Network’s (WIN) new REACTOR program. Washington Interactive Network is a non-profit organization, which started as a program of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County. The purpose of WIN is to promote, nurture, and grow the Interactive Media industry in Washington State.
Most recently WIN launched REACTOR, which will act as a guild model to accelerate the entire game industry. REACTOR brings together game vetrans to teach and share best practices to accelerate start-ups, guide bootstrapped indies to grow and thrive, and even coach one another on new game mechanics, funding platforms, and strategic challenges to the industry.