Wednesday, February 18, 2009

local economies

Sadly, no matter how well a company is run, it will always be susceptible to uncontrollable influences and events. Governments and economies are two such influences.

From what I can tell, most game developers living in California are usually happy to live there. They enjoy the landscape and the culture, stomaching the high expense of living with little complaint. But the state's current economic situation and rumblings of higher taxes make me wonder how the game industry will respond.

I'm offering no political commentary; making no predictions. I'm just wondering what it means when the geographical heart of this industry happens to be the region most endangered by America's current economic troubles. Game companies have been hurting from the national economy for some time now. But to what extent are they hurting from local economies?

I found out today that some small portion of the "stimulus" bill will go to Hollywood filmmakers. Are game developers also expecting money from the bill? If so, would it be enough to offset unexpected costs? There's talk of numerous taxes in California being raised.

Might such raised expenses be enough to cause an exodus of game developers from the state? or enough to convince new developers to set up shop elsewhere? Are any states or cities handling the recession particularly well and attracting game businesses?

As I said, I'm making no predictions. But these are issues I'd expect to come up more often in the coming weeks and months. I keep reading articles about how the global economy is affecting the industry. I haven't happened across one yet discussing local economies. If you see one, please share it.

2 comments:

  1. I'll keep my eyes peeled

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  2. There was an article about a month ago warning of dangers to the entire Silicon Valley way of doing things, of which game dev is certainly a part. While several of the points are not really local minuses, they work to reverse the local pluses that were in place previously:
    http://www.techsectorweb.com/2009/01/why-government-is-set-to-extinguish-silicon-valley.html

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