The Boston Herald is reporting that the state of Massachusetts is considering tax incentives for the state’s game industry, in order to help the sector grow from a $2 billion to $20 billion industry within the next five years.
In order to do so, the state would have to throw a bit of cash at the incentive to expand the industry, but opponents say Massachusetts is already in the red and cannot afford such a move.
"Twenty-five or 30 years ago, no one in the Commonwealth knew what biotechnology was, and it has now become a critical part of our Massachusetts economy," said state representative Vincent Pedone who is a supporter of the initiative. "We think the video game design industry has equal potential."
Opponents of tax incentives claim past failures with such incentives, as well as the current budget crisis are reason enough not to implement the scheme, not to mention it only helps out the game sector.
Representative Bradley Jones, the House Republican leader, said such a move only picks "winners and losers" in the private sector: "Do we go pick an industry, or do we focus our energies on more broad-based initiatives that would help all companies?", he asked.
Companies like Turbine and Harmonix are already located in or around Boston, so is Irrational Game. In the area, there are over 1,295 people employed by the industry and according to the ESA, which puts the state fifth behind California, Texas, Washington and New York in terms of industry importance.