Savannah, GA Offers Free Space to Game Developers
Note: I approached Savannah with this idea a couple months ago, and am incredibly pleased that they’re going forward with it. It’s a nice piece of good news in a not so good economy. Here is their press release set to fly tomorrow.
The Creative Coast Alliance (TCCa) and the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) are pleased to announce up to one year of free rent in their Game Development and Digital Media Center currently under development on the first floor of their newly constructed Class A office building on the Savannah River. This facility will offer digital media companies a competitive advantage and it comes conveniently combined with Savannah’s renowned quality of life, lower cost of living and lower cost of doing business as compared to other media hubs such as the Bay Area, Austin, Montreal and Los Angeles.
In an industry where creative talent is critical, Savannah has what it takes to compete. The Savannah region is home to 17 regional colleges and universities, with total enrollment of over 50,000 students. Most relevant to the game development industry, the city is the birthplace of the Savannah College of Art and Design and now home to a campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. While Georgia Tech offers programs for Computer Engineering, SCAD offers interdisciplinary majors for undergraduate and graduate students in game design and development. Both are included in “America’s Best Colleges” by US News and World Report and on the LA Times list of top 10 schools in the world favored by game industry recruiters.
In addition to the free space available for up to one year, Georgia’s Department of Economic Development recently expanded the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act to offer animation, interactive entertainment and video game development companies a 30% tax credit on qualified Georgia expenditures. This combination of incentives available for qualified companies, access to thousands of creative and tech savvy students as well as Savannah’s geographic location, easily accessible airport and aesthetics make this seaside city an attractive package for companies looking to establish an east coast presence.
“Savannah has what game development companies need in talent, tech and quality of life,” said Brenda Brathwaite, game designer and chair of SCAD’s Interactive Design and Game Development Department. “In today’s economy when so many developers are laid off and looking for that silver lining, the Savannah offer is incredibly welcome and offers developers a chance to start a studio on more stable footing.” In addition to her role at SCAD, Brathwaite also serves on the board of the International Game Developers Association.
For more information about the Game Development & Digital Media Center, or to submit your company for consideration, please visit: http://theoffer.thecreativecoast.org