For Georgia’s tech talent, a childhood pastime that mom might have yelled about being a waste of time could very well prove to be an incredibly lucrative career path. Atlanta is the #3 highest-ranked city in the country in terms of video game planning activity, thanks in large part to the same entertainment tax credits— up to 30%— that have made it a hub for film and television as well. Gaming specifically will be responsible for 3,200 jobs in the state in 2017.
It’s fitting then, that the Georgia Game Developers Association (GGDA) will, for the tenth year, host the largest video game industry trade show in the southeast U.S., the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo, or SIEGE, in Atlanta. Held October 5-8, SIEGE will bring together gaming business leaders, technologists, creatives, government officials, and interested students.
“One of the amazing things about Georgia is just how prevalent game development has become, says SIEGE Director Andrew Greenberg. “Coca-Cola has an executive in charge of its gaming efforts. AutoTrader has developed driving games. The CDC funds an annual game jam where hundreds of game developers come together to develop as many games for health as they can in a weekend. Dozens of colleges and universities have game development and related degree programs.”
SIEGE will help support new interactive entertainment startups seeking capital or connections to present at the SIEGE Investment Conference. 10 companies will be selected to pitch to a room of angel investors, venture capitalists and industry veterans on October 6. Applications to pitch opened this week.
In addition to investment opportunity, mentorship, and resources such as legal and business expert consults, the top team selected by a panel of judges will receive a $1,000 prize.
“We are expecting a substantial increase in the number and quality of developers who apply to be allowed to present and in the interest of potential investors this year,” said Jay O’Toole, co-chair of SIEGE. “More video game developers are taking advantage of augmented reality, virtual reality and machine learning, which makes use of interactive media much more interesting.
Featured image via SIEGE.