Thursday, July 22, 2010

Serious Games In Education Bill Passed in NC in July

An act to enact tax incentives for gaming companies

Via: Savvan's Blog - State Legislators pass economic development bill for the Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Design & Development Industry in North Carolina

Savvan's Blog reports today that NC State Legislators worked to pass an economic development bill providing a tax credit for Interactive Digital Media (IDM) that hire programmers within North Carolina. Industries likely to benefit most from this bill are education, military, government, and corporate training.

“The RTP (Research Triangle Park) area is a hub for development of entertainment games and advanced learning technologies, and this bill will help keep it that way,” said Linda Savanauskas, a Raleigh digital education specialist and owner of Savvan Consulting.

Savanauskas said that the entertainment industry generates revenue in RTP/NC, with 5 of the 10 leading global game engine companies located here. She added, “North Carolina is also a leader in the education industry’s immersive technologies, known variously as advanced learning technologies (ALTs), 3Di (i standing for “immersive”), and Serious Games.

The bill passes in the House, as the economic development bill and now it goes to the Governor for her signature. The House was able to secure the headquarters credit and provide an across the board 15% credit. If a company does collaborate with a participating community college or university, then up to 20% of expenses may be eligible for the credit.

Savanauskas helped build early support for this effort by educating key legislators. In early spring, she arranged meetings with key ALT business leaders and government officials to discuss the monetary and training value of the local entertainment game industry and educational games.

Here is the today's press release from the Triangle Game Initiative

Digital Media Production Incentives Introduced for North Carolina Companies

RALEIGH, N.C., July 22, 2010 - The Triangle Game Initiative, a non-profit trade association for the North Carolina interactive entertainment industry, today will support Governor Beverly Perdue as she signs a new law that will offer companies economic incentives for interactive digital media productions in North Carolina.

Effective January 1, 2011, companies will receive a 15 percent tax credit on compensation and wages for employees involved in digital media production, or the creation of a platform or engine that runs such digital media.

Industry executives and supporters from the region will gather at Epic Games' headquarters in Cary, N.C. to witness the signing of House Bill 1973 and listen to Governor Perdue, state representatives and senators offer remarks about the investment in the state's interactive digital media industry.

"The passage of this legislation marks a significant investment in the future of North Carolina's interactive digital media industry," said Alexander Macris, president of the Triangle Game Initiative. "Our state is home to one of the largest concentrations of game development companies in the United States. These incentives will not only help keep North Carolina competitive on the national stage, it will produce compelling ROI for the state's graduates, skilled work force and research and development infrastructure."

"Game developers and publishers are keen to operate in regions that support and sustain the growth of their operations, especially as the current economic climate places a premium on cost-effectiveness," said Wayne Watkins, project manager, Wake County Economic Development. "Adding to the quality of life, creative class and top-notch technology community North Carolina currently boasts, we now have targeted economic development tools that can help both existing companies as well as companies looking to relocate operations."

About Triangle Game Initiative

Triangle Game Initiative is the trade association for the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. interactive entertainment industry. Its members are market-leading companies and prominent industry figures who have gathered in the Research Triangle area to master the arts and sciences of gaming. The Triangle Game Initiative's mission is to build a thriving community of companies and professionals dedicated to the advancement of the interactive entertainment industry in the Triangle region.