Texas Expands Incentives for Gaming Industry

Texas Expands Incentives for Gaming Industry

It's easier for companies to qualify for expanded rebates

Texas is making it more financially attractive for gaming companies to set up shop in the Lone Star State.

The Texas Film Commission has expanded the incentives it offers the gaming industry and made it easier for businesses to qualify. The state will now reimburse up to 20 percent of in-state spending, up from 15 percent. It also lowered the requirement to access that level or rebates — productions now only have to spend $3.5 million as opposed to $5 million to be eligible.

The Entertainment Software Association, a gaming lobbying group, hailed the move.

“This forward-thinking paves the way for exciting new innovations in the entertainment industry,” Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, said in a statement. “These incentives are not only good for the video game industry, they are a win for Texas as well. These will help keep Texas competitive in the digital media marketplace, attracting and providing 21st century jobs in our growing industry and boosting the state's economy.”

Cities like Austin and Dallas have built up a presence in the gaming world in recent years, attracting companies like Gearbox Software and Twisted Pixel Games and encouraging companies like Electronic Arts to expand their offices in the state.

Texas is also trying to bolster its film production incentives. As a recent article in the New York Times noted the Texas Legislature recently approved a move to nearly triple the state's  production-incentive program to $95 million in 2014-15.