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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Wisconsin Gives Game Developers A 25% Tax Break

by Rainier on June 18, 2008 @ 9:37 a.m. PDT

Wisconsin's new 25% tax credits for the film and television industry contains an innovative component not found in most state’s incentives packages, the video gaming industry, as qualifying game developers can also take advantage of the incentives.

The incentive includes a 25 percent rebate on qualified production related expenditures plus a 15 percent credit for infrastructure development. With the increased activity in film production in the state the interest in developing infrastructure is growing rapidly with several projects underway. The Milwaukee market recently added both a motion capture system and a major recording studio (Tanner-Monagle) whose capabilities include a recording studio for up to an 85-piece ensemble and several smaller isolation booths for voice over work. Also, Milwaukee’s 3rd Coast Studios recently announced new facilities to be up and running by the end of July. A 5,000 sq ft soundstage with 45’ ceilings will include an additional 600 sq ft of production offices, private dressing rooms, restrooms, and kitchenette. A separate 2,000 sq ft soundstage with 22’ ceilings and green screen will include 800 sq ft of production offices, editing suite and a private kitchen. This new stage is the most recent addition to their existing 27,000 sq. ft. facility.

But that’s not all Wisconsin has to offer to game developers. Mike Crowns, director of product development at Madison, Wisconsin’s Raven Software, a division of Activision creator of such titles as “Marvel Ultimate Alliance”, “Soldier of Fortune I & II”, and “Quake IV” said “I truly believe that the tax incentive will greatly assist the growth of game development in the State of Wisconsin” says Mike.

Raven Software’s success has lead to several “spin-off” companies including Human Head Studios (“Prey”) and then from Human Head another spin-off Big Rooster (currently developing titles for X360, PS3, Wii, & NDS) increasing the presence of game developers in the state.

Additionally several Wisconsin schools have recently increased their offerings to include more animation classes and game development degree tracks. This includes a planned motion capture studio at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, which feeds both the Milwaukee and Madison workforces.

Add to that an excellent quality of life with Madison’s suburb, Middleton, recently recognized as the top city to live in by Fortune 500 magazine. The centralized Midwestern location makes Wisconsin convenient to each of the coasts. Plus with high quality, affordable housing and office stock and you’ve got a recipe for a new Mecca for game development!

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