The Digital Media Act, Senate Bill 341 of the Louisiana legislature, has been passed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco. The bill gives video game developers who set up shop in Louisiana a 20 percent tax credit provided they remain in operation for the long term and build working relationships with Louisiana universities.
Andy Wisdom, CEO of the New Orleans-based tools retailer Turbo Squid, hailed the bill's passage in a statement. "As a Louisiana-based business owner," said Wisdom, "I congratulate this administration for focusing on the job spigot instead of the job drain - this bill is an example of a spigot. This bill encourages media producers like us - who are consolidating as an industry - to domicile in Louisiana."
"This means permanent game development jobs with an average annual salary of $75,000, companies that are committed to the local economy and the opportunity to work with local universities to develop the multi-disciplinary curriculums needed to educate future employees for this growing industry."
The bill's passage was one of three entertainment industry-related bills going into effect; the other two were the Film Industry Development Bill (HB 731), which strengthens the state's existing investments and credit program for film industry production within Louisiana, and the Sound Recording Investment Act, which begins an investment program similar to the game industry bill for music.