Digital Entertainment Industry
Why is digital gaming and eSports thriving in DeKalb?
The entertainment industry has been rapidly growing in DeKalb County with digital entertainment at the core. Over the last few years, the county has managed many television and film projects, more than 100 in the last year alone. For more than 80 years, Georgia-grown musical talent has contributed billions of dollars, year after year, to the state’s economy.
The tech start-up and gaming industries have seen similar growth. In the last decade, gaming-development studios have grown statewide from eight to more than 120. And, according to the Georgia Game Developers Association, it is estimated the gaming industry had a $550 million economic impact in Georgia in 2015. In addition, more than 3,000 full-time employees work within this industry, where the average base salary is about $64,000, 23 percent higher than the median household income in Georgia.
Digital media companies who may be moving or expanding their business in Georgia have the benefit of the state’s tax credits for the entertainment industry, as well as access to its pool of talent. Nearly 350 video games were released last year, with more expected in the coming year.
The gaming sector of the industry includes online games, social games, mobile games, console development, augmented reality and virtual reality. Since 2007, the Georgia Game Developers Association has produced the largest video game industry trade show in the southeastern United States. This event is known as the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo, or SIEGE.
Georgia has also seen a substantial growth in game development studios.
ANIMATION AND DIGITAL EFFECTS
With the ever-popular DragonCon (Multi-media pop culture convention) and Momacom (convention for fans of anime, animation, comics, video games and table-top games), it is clear this world is booming.
Soccer may no longer the fastest growing sport in America … it may actually be eSports. Whether watching on TwitchTV, or in person, the eSports dynamic of gaming has gone to an entirely new level. Events such as Sweden’s DreamHack (world’s largest digital gaming festival) has chosen to expand in North America, and selected Atlanta as one of three U.S. destinations. Other events, such as DragonCon, MomoCon and SIEGE further support Atlanta’s growth as a hub for tech start ups and gaming. More is surely to come, and Atlanta is securely positioned as a leader.
Beginning in 2018, music projects recorded or scored in Georgia — and for tours rehearsing and starting in the state — can all take advantage of Georgia’s generous state tax credits allowing your budget to be focused where it’s needed the most … on your production. These tax credits can be applied to film, TV and music, as well as digital entertainment (such as gaming).
In October 2010, DeKalb County was one of 16 inaugural counties named Camera Ready Communities by the Georgia Film, Music, Digital and Television Entertainment Office. To capitalize on being named to this list, the DeKalb Board of Commissioners and Chief Executive Office created the DeKalb Film Commission in 2011 to strengthen DeKalb’s long ties to the film industry, and its growth in the music and digital entertainment industries.
To date, the county has hosted more than <xx> motion picture features, television projects and commercial projects. Today, that commission has expanded to become what is now the DeKalb Entertainment Commission, overseen by a board of X members from the film, TV, music and digital entertainment industry in DeKalb County.