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The Texas game development finance provisos


There be much gaming going on in the great state of Texas. Many MMOs have a connection to Austin, just a sample list includes: BioWare's studio, some Sony Online Entertainment stuff and Blizzard is setting up camp there too. Recently, Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill providing game developers up to $250,000 in grants ... with a few little addendums, provisos and other such caveats.

To keep the dogs at bay, the incentives have restrictions on paying for violent games. Actually, it's a little deeper. The state can pick and choose the games they want to fund, avoiding those considered "obscene." Yes, that should make anybody not making the World of That's So Raven game just a little nervous. Oh, and the game can't "portray Texas or Texans in a negative fashion."

Tabula Rasa lead developer Richard Garriott said, "This is a great first step in trying to support developers who already are in the state of Texas or might consider developing projects in the state of Texas ... Our industry doesn't have a very sophisticated lobbying process. I do believe the legislators that have carried this through for us have done so in spite of the utter lack of lobbying." Oh well, any state that wants to give money to fund video games, even if there are restrictions, can't be all bad. At least it's not half as ironic as Boston's Mayor Menino meeting with game developers. So, developers, if you're looking for some cash, they make the grants bigger in Texas.

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