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NC Introduces Games Tax Break for Developers

Epic Games played host to North Carolina governor Bev Perdue Thursday afternoon as she signed a new law--the Interactive Digital Media Bill--that offers companies "economic incentives" for moving in, setting up shop, and producing interactive digital media.

Bottom line, this means that developers will receive a 15-percent tax credit on compensation and wages for employees who work in the interactive digital media industry. The credit could rise to 20-percent if the project takes advantage of academic resources from the University of North Carolina system or the North Carolina Community College system.

"This was a result of a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated, passionate people," said Wayne Watkins, project manager for Wake County Economic Development.

Currently the state is struggling to keep the local film industry from farming out work to Canada. The new law will help bring in more digital media developers while allowing current residents to expand their facilities. The overall revenue could compensate for the film industry's slow decline within the state.

"The passage of these bills is important to economic development in the area because it shows that the local community and state are behind major efforts," Watkins added.

North Carolina follows Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Virginia who have already enacted similar provisions within the last 18 months.

The new law will take affect in 2011.