Nov 22, 2021 - Technology

New York game state

An Xbox controller
Photo: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

New York City's game development scene is steadily growing, especially in the indie sector.

Driving the news: According to a new study from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, New York "serves as an incubator" for the growth of creative game communities.

  • The games sector in New York accounts for 7,600 jobs, $762 million in total wages and $2 billion in economic output.
  • The industry has "roughly tripled in size" since 2008 and is home to more than 160 developers, as well as educational institutions like the NYU Game Center.
  • The results of the study "underscore our objectives to support current and future game developers and develop initiatives that propel NYC on its way to becoming a global game development center."

Yes, but: According to the study, half of the developers in New York are indies.

  • Independent developers tend to gravitate to Brooklyn, the study says, as it's cheaper for studio spaces; cost is a major issue when it comes to a developer setting up shop for indie to mid-size studios.

The big picture: In terms of U.S. placement, the games industry has a stronger AAA presence on the West Coast.

  • Cities like Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco are hubs for developers such as Riot Games, Naughty Dog, Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Valve, Sucker Punch and more.

What’s next: The study makes a number of suggestions for expanding the New York gaming scene: instituting state tax credit programs; promoting gaming events; and supporting the city's independent gaming communities through efforts such as marketing campaigns.

  • “A production-based tax credit incentivizing local talent hiring and game development within the city would not only attract larger studios to New York City, but also enable existing studios to stay in the city,” the study says.
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