Governor Hochul Announces Applications for New York State's First Ever $25 Million Digital Game Development Tax Credit Program Now Open

November 4, 2022

Program Designed to Increase Digital Game Investment and Bolster New York's Existing Digital Game Development Industry

New York State to Lead First-in-the-Nation Statewide Pavilion at 2023 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco

View New Empire State Digital Gaming Logo Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced initial applications are now open for the first ever New York State Digital Game Development Tax Credit Program to support games that begin development on or after January 1, 2023. The New York State Digital Game Development Tax Credit Program is intended to grow the digital game development industry across the state and accelerate economic development by offsetting some production costs. This is a $25 million tax credit that will award up to $5 million per year for five years. 

"New York is consistently at the forefront of innovation in emerging industries, and digital gaming is no different," Governor Hochul said. "Through the $25 million tax credit, we'll help grow this thriving industry in New York, create jobs and drive investment throughout our communities. Now is the time to show developers why our state is the place to invest in the future of digital gaming."

Governor Hochul also announced New York will be the first state in the nation to lead a statewide pavilion at the 2023 Game Developers Conference — a premier industry event held in San Francisco from March 20 until March 24. New York has started to recruit businesses to join the delegation. Additionally, Governor Hochul unveiled New York State's new digital game development logo that will accompany all games incentivized through this program and developed in New York State.  

Empire State Digital Gaming Media Production Credit Program

New York State is one of the nation's leaders in the digital game development industry, offering a comprehensive ecosystem for digital game studios to thrive, due to unparalleled strengths in advanced technology, creative arts and entertainment. The New York State Digital Game Development Tax Credit Program is designed to accelerate and attract economic development by offsetting some production costs associated with producing digital games in New York State.

Qualified digital game development studios will be required to submit their initial applications to New York State before beginning a project. Once the project is completed and the final application is audited, applicants can receive tax credits of up to 25 percent of qualified production costs in New York City and 35 percent outside of the New York City metropolitan commuter transportation district.

To qualify, the entity must be engaged in a qualified digital gaming media production and must have a minimum of $100,000 total production costs. A minimum of 75 percent of the total production costs must be incurred and paid by the Applicant for work performed and/or services rendered in New York State for the digital gaming media production to qualify. The project must begin on or after January 1, 2023.

Eligible expenditures for qualified productions include:

  • Any costs for wages or salaries paid to individuals, other than actors or writers, directly employed in the creation of a digital gaming media production or productions
  • Payment for services performed in digital gaming media productions predominantly in the development, design, production, editing, and composing of digital gaming media
  • Costs may not include expenses incurred for the distribution, marketing, promotion, or advertising content.

For companies larger than 10 employees, the salaries of executive staff are not eligible. Maximum qualified costs of $4,000,000 per project may be used in the calculation of the Digital Game Development Tax Credit. Up to $100,000 in wages and salaries paid to any individual directly employed may be used in the calculation of this credit

Applications can be found on the Empire State Development website here.

Read the full press release here.