Oregon Games Organization Advocates for Incentives

Oregon Games Organization’s been busy for the last few months – including finding a new name and electing our first board – and the lingering buzz from this morning’s latte and my sense of guilt for letting months go by without giving everyone an update on the latest have finally glued me to my keyboard.

OGO’s mission is to make Oregon the best place in the world to make games – a destination for people dedicated to their craft.  Whether you want to make the leap and start your own studio or are looking for a new home for your established team, Oregon provides unparalleled quality of life, an affordable cost of living, and the perfect setting for creative pursuit.  The beer and coffee are pretty darn good too.

In the context of the established West Coast video game markets, Oregon is still a baby – and what an amazing and rare opportunity that is. It gives all of us the chance to build our ecosystem together. We hope Oregon will foster studios where dedication to the art and the craft of games still carries weight against the endless demands of the balance sheet, a place for the often ignored middle market – the successful indies, the 40 person production shops, the teams with big dreams and room to grow. Let the established big dogs keep San Francisco and Seattle. We want the pioneers.

To that end, OGO has been working hard to secure state wide industry incentives for video games. We know that video game developers are a great investment – they provide a stable of highly paid, highly skilled jobs and long term revenue for the states they call home. Oregon has a successful film and TV incentive, but our industry has access to only a small portion of the program. Two bills before the legislature this year aim to fix this oversight. Both House Bill 2072 and Senate Bill 872 open up the entire Oregon Production Investment Fund to video game companies with their principal place of business in Oregon while increasing our state’s investment in the media industry.

We could use your help to let our lawmakers know that investing in the games industry a good idea. If you have a few free minutes, take some time to find your legislator and let them know that their support for HB 2072 and SB 872 is important to you.

2015 continues to be an exciting year for games in Oregon. Our industry is growing, organizing and producing amazing work.  I hope you can be a part of it. We’re here to help and we’d love to have you join us.

Best, Peter Lund

Peter Lund is the Chair of OGO and COO at SuperGenius.  You can follow him @peterlund