The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today presented Texas Gov. Rick Perry (and former Republican presidential candidate) an award for his efforts to create jobs, provide tax incentives and generally foster the growth of the computer and video game industry in the state. ESA president and CEO Michael D. Gallagher presented the award to the Governor and praised him for his “longstanding support for the industry” during an award ceremony at the historic Governor’s Mansion. The event included members from the video games industry, business leaders, and state officials.
“Governor Perry has been a true champion for Texas and for our industry,” said Mr. Gallagher. “At E3 in 2008, he made a personal pitch for computer and video game companies to come to Texas. Since then, he has dedicated his passion and energy to building the state’s global reputation as an innovation incubator and economic powerhouse, known for its creative community and cutting-edge businesses.”
Gov. Perry worked with the Texas Legislature to implement and later improve the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which created a business friendly environment for computer and video game companies. The Texas Film Commission says that the video games industry invested $643.5 million in in-state productions between 2006 and 2009. The industry also created more full time jobs than any other moving image entertainment sector from 2007 to 2009, employing nearly 14,000 direct and indirect workers in 2009 and adding more than $490 million to the state economy.
Describing the firm’s closure as a “bitter blow” for the UK scene, TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson urged the UK Government to work closely with the EU Commission to speed up the implementation of planned tax breaks for the games industry.
“The liquidation of Blitz Studios is a bitter blow for the games industry in Leamington Spa and for the UK generally,” detailed Wilson.
“Blitz is an iconic British games studio. Philip and Andrew Oliver, the CEO and CTO respectively at Blitz, have made an enormous contribution to the UK video games industry, having been involved in the sector since its beginnings in the 1980s.
“TIGA salutes Blitz’s achievements and we hope that everyone at Blitz will be successful in finding new work as quickly as possible.”
Looking for a solution
Wilson added that TIGA will support any new start-ups that emerge from Blitz, but claimed that Government support longterm is the key to ensuring more studios don’t go the same way.
“It is vital that the Government takes steps to support the growth of new studios by the provision of business incubators and by working with the EU Commission to introduce Games Tax Relief as speedily as possible,” concluded Wilson.
“Games Tax Relief will reduce the cost of games development and improve access to finance, as well as supporting the development of culturally British video games.”
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