Texas governor Rick Perry has signed into law a bill that will give Texan film and game producers a tax credit.
The law sets up $22m worth of film incentives, with game studios eligible for up to $250,000 in grant money if they choose to produce their game in Texas.
While the scheme has garnered acclaim from both NCsoft’s Richard Garriott, who is based in Austin, Texas, and the head of the Texas Film Commission, there are some limitations to the subsidies.
The state says it will not fund ‘obscene’ games with ‘inappropriate content’ or titles that ‘portray Texas or Texans in a negative fashion’.
At the same time, Perry has tried to calm any claims of censorship, saying: "What we’re trying to do here is pretty straight forward. It’s trying to get the film industry to come and reinvest, and invest in a big way, in the state of Texas. And if the first thing that happens is we start seeing some type of censorship, then it’s not going to happen."
But Rodney Gibbs of Amaze, which has offices in Austin as well, added that the stringent control might help the reputation of games in a country that all too quickly remembers sensationalised reports about violence and games like GTA.
He said: "What we do is mass-market mainstream family-friendly stuff. [The incentive program] is helping to overcome that stigma we still suffer from: ‘Oh, games; that’s shooting people.’ That’s just like saying all films are Quentin Tarantino films."