Deal: Video game industry poised for growth

Gov. Nathan Deal had a message for the dozens of video game designers who gathered Thursday at the Statehouse: “Keep it up.”

More than 80 video game development companies have clustered in Georgia, and Deal said the industry is playing an increasingly important role in the state economy.

“Georgia certainly wants to be a part of that growth as we move forward,” Deal said. “It’s increasingly a digital world, and it’s crucial that Georgia be a part of it.”

The Georgia Game Developers Association released a report Thursday to highlight the industry’s evolution.

The report, prepared with accounting firm Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, found that the industry supports more than 1,200 jobs and generates $48 million in annual state tax revenue. Jobs in the industry pay an average of about $85,000, about twice the wages of a typical Georgia job.

“What’s important to note is that these high-paid employees live in Georgia, work in Georgia and spend their money in Georgia, supporting economic growth,” said Mitchell Kopelman, who authored the study.

Several industry executives urged Georgia lawmakers to attract more growth through tax breaks and other incentives.

“Someone is going to stake a claim to be the world leader in digital entertainment, and I think that’s going to be us,” said Paul Jenkins, who helped stage the event.

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