$25 Million Digital Game Development Tax Credit Program Opened in New York State

Applications are open for a program designed to increase investment in digital games and stimulate the digital game development industry in New York State.

Tax credit claims are intended to support games that begin development on or after January 1, 2023.

The New York State Digital Game Development Tax Credit Program aims to grow the digital game development industry statewide and accelerate economic development by offsetting certain production costs. This is a $25 million tax credit that will provide up to $5 million per year for five years.

“New York is constantly at the forefront of innovation in emerging industries, and digital gaming is no different,” Governor Hochul said. “Through the $25 million tax credit, we will help grow this thriving industry in New York, create jobs and spur investment in our communities. Now is the time to show developers why our state is the place to invest in the future of digital gaming.

New York will also be the first state in the country to lead a statewide pavilion at the 2023 Game Developers Conference.

The event takes place in San Francisco from March 20-24.

All games promoted by the program will have the new logo created just for New York State.

New York State is one of the nation’s leaders in the digital game development industry, providing a comprehensive ecosystem for digital game studios to thrive, with unparalleled strengths in cutting-edge technology, creative arts and entertainment. The New York State Digital Game Development Tax Credit program is designed to accelerate and attract economic development by offsetting certain production costs associated with the production of digital games in New York State.

Qualified digital game development studios will be required to submit their initial applications to New York State before beginning a project. After the project is completed and the final application is verified, applicants may receive tax credits of up to 25% of qualified production costs in New York and 35% outside of the New York Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District.

To qualify, the entity must be engaged in a qualifying digital game media production and must have a minimum of $100,000 in total production costs. A minimum of 75% of the total production costs must be incurred and paid by the applicant for work performed and/or services rendered in New York State for the production of digital game media to be eligible. The project must start on or after January 1, 2023.

Eligible expenses for eligible video game development productions

  • All costs of wages or salaries paid to persons, other than actors or writers, directly employed in the creation of a digital game media production or productions
  • Payment for services rendered in the productions of digital game media primarily in the development, design, production, publishing and composition of digital game media
  • Costs cannot include expenses incurred for distribution, marketing, promotion or advertising content.

For companies with more than 10 employees, executive salaries are not eligible. The maximum eligible costs of $4,000,000 per project can be used in the calculation of the tax credit for the development of digital games. Up to $100,000 in wages and salaries paid to any directly employed person can be used in calculating this credit.

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