Empire State Development Announces Velan Studios Expansion in the Capital Region

Troy-Based Video Game Developer Adding 49 Jobs; Project Supports Capital Region's Growing Video Game Development Cluster

September 28, 2018

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Velan Studios, a video game development startup launched in 2016, is expanding operations in Troy, Rensselaer County. The company will create 49 jobs and fit out approximately 7,600 square-feet of space with equipment to expand video gaming operations, further bolstering the Capital Region's growing video game development cluster. 

ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The video game development industry is thriving in the Capital Region, with a pipeline of graduates from the area's colleges and universities and locally-based companies like Velan Studios who are leveraging that creative pipeline "

Founded by brothers Guha and Karthik Bala, Velan Studios currently has a workforce of approximately 40 employees. Velan’s creative staff, comprised of industry veterans, has created hundreds of games that have sold millions of copies over the past 25 years. The company focuses on discovering new forms of play to create original digital games. Its research efforts include artificial intelligence-enabled augmented reality, robotics, and the combination hardware and software experiences.

Guha Bala, President of Velan Studios, said, “Downtown Troy, combined with the unique creative work at Velan, offers talented developers the ability to make a lasting impact in the games industry while enjoying a live, work and play environment."

Karthik Bala, CEO of Velan Studios, said, "Troy is a historic city with great bones but preparing its buildings for technology companies is a big investment. The support from ESD will allow us to modernize our space while keeping its distinctive character. The combination of a walkable historic city with modern infrastructure offers us a unique brand with which to attract new staff to support our aspirations."

Velan Studios is investing over $630,000 to fit-out more than 7,600-square-feet of office space on Third Street in Troy, and purchase machinery and equipment to expand its video game operations. The new location's open concept will support creativity and innovation by encouraging development teams to collaborate, as well as incorporate a professional audio space. The company plans to create at least 49 jobs over five years. To support this project, ESD will provide up to $200,000 in a performance-based capital grant.

The expansion of Velan Studios supports ESD's strategy to encourage growth in the region's video game development hub through the Capital Region Economic Development Council. Established in 2016, this cluster reflects the emerging talent at Capital Region colleges and universities that has supported industry growth. In June 2017, ESD sponsored a video game summit in Troy to define and grow this cluster, generating opportunities for new projects that create jobs and encourage capital investment. The region is currently home to more than a dozen active video game studios.

Senator Neil Breslin said, "The video game development industry continues to grow, especially here in the Capital Region with companies like Velan Studios. The creation of high-tech jobs will continue to encourage the best and brightest to make their home in the area, and I thank Empire State Development for their support."

Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "Congratulations to Velan Studios on the expansion of operations in the City of Troy. I was proud to moderate a video game tax credit summit last year and am a strong proponent for the growth of the video game industry in our region. Thank you to Empire State Development for recognizing the importance of investing in this industry and for supporting a business that will boost increased collaboration and additional jobs."

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said, "The continued growth and success of Velan Ventures is another sign of optimism about the revitalization of our city. As the home of the largest concentration of game development studios in the Capital Region, the City of Troy offers a unique setting for the technology and game development industries. Velan Ventures founders Guha and Karthik Bala are central players in the ongoing revitalization of our downtown, and their renewed investment demonstrates a commitment to our community, creating local jobs, and enhancing Troy’s reputation as a great place to do business."

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.



Adam Ostrowski (ESD) | [email protected] | (518) 292-5148 
ESD Press Office (ESD) | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313