Massachusetts Ponders Cutting Game Devs A Break

The Massachusetts Legislature is considering extending film industry-style tax breaks to game developers to boost the industry there, the Boston Globe reports.

Massachusetts Ponders Cutting Game Devs A Break

Currently, a bill still in its early stages geared to provide subsidies for film studios that set up shop in the state includes similar support for game development. Game developers in Massachusetts would be able to claim tax credits for 20 percent of the cost of establishing a facility, if they invest at least $500,000 of their own money - the same initiative recently signed into law in Georgia.

With 1,000 video game industry employees, Massachusetts ranks fifth in the country behind California, Washington, Texas and New York as far as how many developers are employed in the industry there, according to the ESA. Turbine, Blue Fang Games and Harmonix are all headquartered in the state.

It remains unclear whether the bill will achieve final approval, but a legislative committee recently passed it by a narrow 5-4 margin.

Turbine CFO Peter Faubert talked to the Globe about how the tax credit might help the company expand:

Peter Faubert, Turbine's chief financial officer, said film-style tax credits could be a boon for video game companies. He said Turbine, which has been growing rapidly and recently raised $40 million in venture capital, is searching for a larger headquarters in the Boston area. The company has 300 employees, but plans to hire as many as 100 more by the end of 2009 and requires additional space.

Faubert said some towns have already mentioned the possibility of offering Turbine property tax incentives, though they probably won't be large enough to affect the company's decision on where to site its headquarters.

"We're trying to make our plans based on our business today, rather than a tax incentive," he said. But Faubert said tax credits could help the business expand further.



Game makers may get a break
[Boston Globe via Develop]