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Texas Cuts Video Game Incentives

Texas' entertainment industry may be over.

According to TPR.org, state legislators just ended $63 million from the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentives Program from the state's budget. The program was created in 2008 to create more jobs by giving companies grants for hiring Texas workers to develop film, tv, commercial or video game projects in the state. But, because state legislators pulled the plug on the TV series, film and video game industries are trying to figure out what to do next. But, it begs the question - what went wrong? Well Hollywood didn't want to be categorized with video game industries.
Since 2008, the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program has given entertainment companies about $150 million in grants for hiring Texas workers. But in the last couple of years, there was trouble brewing: The film industry didn’t want to be grouped in with video games in the state budget. They argued the two industries are just too different. Barbara Morgan, the executive director of the Austin Film Festival, agrees the two industries are pretty different. “Places that are creating those games, it’s not as overt as when someone is here shooting [a film> in the middle of the street,” she says. “But with gaming it’s different — those are usually done inside office buildings and created in a small environment.” But separating the incentives program would have meant that the video game industry would have had to fight for money on their own.
Reports suggest that big TV shows such as 'American Crime' will be leaving Texas. The new two-year budget deal includes $32 million for the incentive program which, is a  lot less than the program's current funding. But just like the executive director of the Austin Film Festival pointed out: “As long as Louisiana and New Mexico and Georgia keep pouring money into the film industry, it will hurt us if we don’t have budgets that can compete." Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.

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