New York State Digital Game Development Program

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Objective

Built on its legacy strengths in advanced technology, creative arts, and entertainment, New York State is one of the nation’s leaders in the digital game development industry, offering a comprehensive and supportive ecosystem for digital game studios to thrive.

Intended to attract and grow the digital game development industry across New York State, the New York State Digital Game Development Program is designed to accelerate and attract economic development by offsetting some production costs associated with producing digital games in New York State. Economic benefits of this program include increased digital game investment, increased number of jobs and studios, and a bolstering of the existing digital game development industry in New York State.

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Overview

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 25% of qualified production costs in New York City and 35% outside of the New York City metropolitan commuter transportation district (MCTD).

To create and maintain digital game development industry jobs, tax credits of up to $5 million per year will be allocated to support companies producing digital games in New York State. 

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Eligibility

To be eligible, the entity must be engaged in a qualified digital gaming media production and must have a minimum of $100,000 total production costs. Qualified production costs must be at least 75% of all production costs. Qualified production costs are digital gaming media production costs incurred and paid within New York State directly and predominantly related to the creation, production, or modification of a qualified digital gaming media production and not related to salaries and wages paid to actors and writers. 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.

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How to Apply

Application Process

Initial applications must be submitted prior to the commencement of production but no more than 90 days before the start of production. The Department will review the initial application and determine whether the applicant meets the eligibility criteria. The applicant will be notified if the initial application is incomplete or if any revisions are needed. 90 days after the submission of the initial application the Department may contact the applicant to verify that production on the qualified project has started as stated on the initial application.

Once the initial application is approved, the Department will notify the authorized applicant of its eligibility and issue a Certificate of Conditional Eligibility. This certificate states that a project is eligible to receive a tax credit if the applicant files a complete final application and meets all the program requirements.

Initial Application Materials:

  • Project Summary
  • Estimated project schedule
  • Estimated project budget
  • Diversity Plan
  • Game Design Document

Application Resources

Further Resources

  • Guidelines - Further details on the application process and the required documents can be found in the Program Guidelines
  • Employment Report - This worksheet will help you calculate the values needed for Step 5 of the initial application “Qualified Costs – Employment Report Summary” and will be required in the final application
  • Chart of Application Materials

 

Regulations

The proposed/emergency regulations above create the administrative process for the Digital Gaming Media Production Credit Program.

 

Sign up here to receive updates on the application process and schedules for informational webinars on the new tax credit program.

If you are interested in more details or have specific questions about the Program, please email [email protected].