Georgia governor Nathan Deal on Monday signed a bill that extends the state's $25 million tax credit to local video game developers. Deal signed the bill, HB 958, on the same day that CCP Games' Georgia-based development studio canceled its World of Darkness MMO and laid off dozens of staffers as a result. It's unknown if the bill could have helped save the game or its developers.
To be eligible for the tax break, "qualified entertainment production companies" need to maintain a business that is physically located in Georgia, have a total aggregate payroll of $500,000 or more, and have gross income of less than $100 million for the taxable year. Companies must also be primarily engaged in production activities that are "related to interactive entertainment which have been approved by the Department of Economic Development."
HB 958 goes on to state that the maximum credit for any qualified interactive entertainment production company can be $5 million for a taxable year. When the $25 million cap is reached, the tax credit for such qualified companies will expire. You can read HB 958 in full at the state of Georgia's website.
This is not the first time Georgia has attempted to lure developers to its state with a tax break package. In 2008, the state adopted a new law called the Entertainment Industry Investment Act that would give eligible companies a 20 percent tax credit.
While Georgia may not be considered a hot-bed for video game development, the state currently is currently home to more than a dozen game and digital media companies. Some of these include CCP North America (World of Darkness), Tripwire Interactive (Killing Floor), and Xaviant (Lichdom: Battlemage).