New York aiming to grow its development scene

Senator Martin J. Golden, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, and other industry members to hold panel discussions this week on how state can elevate its development business.

The state of New York wants to be a bigger player for game development and will hold panel discussions this week to examine how it can grow its foothold in the multibillion-dollar business.

New York Senator Martin J. Golden and NYU-Poly have organized fact-finding sessions so that government representatives of New York City, the Governor's Office, and the Senate can hear from 25 "industry leaders" during two panel presentations on Friday, September 20.

The list of industry leaders attending the event is headlined by Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, whose subsidiary Rockstar Games released the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto V this week. Others attending include MTV Digital executive producer Tom Akel, Games for Change co-president Asi Burak, and Kickstarter community head Cindy Au.

The roundtable is titled "Growing Computer and Video Game Development in New York," and speakers will discuss whether and how New York can grow its digital games industry to "match or exceed the size of its film industry."

According to Entertainment Software Association data, New York is among the top five states in industry employment with 5,474 direct and indirect jobs. The average compensation for New York game developers is $96,602.

In a statement, Golden explained that New York falls behind other game development hubs like California, Texas, and Washington. He said New York can and should do better.

"The gaming software industry is large and growing and New York State can claim an increasing share for our citizens," Golden said. "At present, New York State lags behind California, Texas, and Washington in the number of companies, employees, and contribution to the economy. We have about one-tenth the number of game software employees as California and one-tenth of California's gaming software's contribution of $2.16 billion to the state economy. Even Texas has twice the economic impact and twice the number of employees of New York. Clearly we can do better. We have the talent and we have the people."

"The purpose of these Roundtables is to create policy and program that will make us the center of the game software universe," he added. " When companies and gaming entrepreneurs think of gaming software, we want them to think of New York State. We are taking our first steps to make that happen with this Roundtable."

Other prominent New York-based developers include Avalanche Studios (New York City) and Vicarious Visions (Albany).

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

24 comments
gargungulunk
gargungulunk

I tried NY for a CG career once, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

scottp61
scottp61

I hope a scene does come about. I live in North Jersey and would love to break into the gaming industry some how, some way. Gaming is the only industry that I'm passionate about.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Take-Two is also based here (NY), the article didn't mention that. Waaay back in the day Acclaim was here also, but then went bankrupt. I live in the Long Island suburbs right outside of the city and Acclaim used to be 10mins from my house. I always thought I was so lucky to have such a huge gaming dev/pub so local. I wanted to work there when I was young lol. Acclaim was the shit back in the Atari days, even the NES days. But it wasn't long after that that they couldn't make a good game to save their life. And it was all downhill from there.

AndrewII
AndrewII

Like California, New York is by far one of the most unfriendliest places for a business and mainly to due its high taxes. With that mind I can't imagine what developer in their right mind would want a start up there. Make you even wonder why more and more game developers are moving their operations to either Florida or Texas.


"Even Texas has twice the economic impact and twice the number of employees of New York."

That's because Texas is by far the most economically viable state to date and mainly due to the fact it doesn't have an income tax.

zintarr
zintarr

Before they start handing out the subsidies and tax funded loans maybe someone needs to point them to Rhode Island. It did not work out to good for them...just saying.

Faye_Tallity
Faye_Tallity

YES!!!! It's about time! My hometown of New York gets something to make it a lot of money! We don't seem to really acknowledge the gaming world, let alone how much money the gaming business makes. We will be the new digital Hollywood! GREAT!

BrutalPandaX2
BrutalPandaX2

This is awesome. There is barely anything here except Ubisoft and Rockstar offices but are predominantly just web development and there are so many artists looking for jobs in this state that have to turn their heads to fashion or web which blows.

miguelgreene
miguelgreene

as have beaning a New yorker my hole life, and going to school here.  I would say bring it on, As an artist who graduated in animation/3d modeling there is almost non jobs here, sadly i had to find out the hard way, all the jobs are in the west coast etc, when it comes to gaming there are only a few developers here in animation and games, rockstar, blue sky, etc and its extramly hard to get a job here because the talent pool is so high with less opportunity. 


your better off going into Fashion, advertisement, and graphic design, if you like art and want to get a job here let alone anything to do with games, unless its a web based gaming company, like this is pop, or pop cap etc.  I graduated in 2010 and it would have been nice to have gaming companies as an option etc. 

But I later got into graphic design so its all good alot of jobs here for that 

cmat35
cmat35

Translation: we want more businesses here so that we can get more tax dollars

cornbread444
cornbread444

New York probably does have the talent and the people to do this. But they also tax the ever-loving crap out of companies. Keep putting lipstick on that piggy.

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

As a gamer from New York city myself it's nice to hear that Developers wanna operate game studios in new york city. we have (at least to my knowledge) only two game studios in new york. Rockstar and i think Atari. 

i'd like to see my home town become a bigger part of the gaming industry. Also it would also be nice if there were video game conventions in new york as well. but that's just what i want lol.


demondogx
demondogx

Well this is always good news.
But i really wonder why MTV is at the panel, last i checked they just air crappy reality shows and bad music

Incubus420
Incubus420

@zintarr Have you been to RI.  Please is a mess.  They should come to Boston/ Cambridge and feed on some of the eggheads leaving these schools.  Also, I would love to work for one of these companies.  Hell I already work for one of the biggest ad agencies, why not a good old gaming company.  

ToffeeBlue
ToffeeBlue

@Ranma_X_basic This is the second time ive see Rockstar stated to be in New York its actually in the UK, Scotland to be exact Take Two I think is in New York who own Rockstar.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

@Ranma_X_basic New York is too expensive.  Unless you're a successful AAA publisher, you're not gonna have the scratch to thrive here.   It's a hard sell to get the smaller, indie devs to move.

The only thing going for any dev companies here would be access to the large pool of actors, comedians and musicians.

BrutalPandaX2
BrutalPandaX2

@demondogx MTV offices are in New York and they did make that MTV Beat Generator for Xbox which was fun.

gargungulunk
gargungulunk

@haze0986 @gargungulunk  

Nice pun use, you're a master at expressing lameness.

...would you rather I go into details about my trials & tribulations with my career search, and what perspectives I've gained from it all?   I don't mind, but I also know you don't care either way.

scottp61
scottp61

Didn't MTV have a hand in Rockband? I'm not 100% but I thought they hand something to do with the first game.