What a busy, crazy year 2017 turned out to be, thanks to our members and the Georgia game development community!
From another great game jam to helping implement the best video game incentive program in the world to starting the Georgia Esports League, it was an amazing year for the association and our members.
2017 proved a great year for many GGDA members. Highlights include:
- Hi-Rez Studio’s Paladins became one of the top esports titles of the year.
- Tripwire Interactive released one of the top VR games of the year, Killing Floor: Incursion, as well as Rising Storm: Vietnam and the Xbox version of Killing Floor.
- Blue Mammoth’s esport title Brawlhalla gained even more ground with a PS4 launch and its 2017 world championship was its biggest and best yet.
- GamesThatWork started developing for VR, expanding its roster of fun and educational titles.
Our smaller studios also enjoyed a good year.
Clutter by Puzzles by Joe continued its reign as one of the most popular hidden-object games, continuing to sell more games with each release. PrinceNapped by Ker-Chunk also continued to nab adherents as the team expanded its reach. Twin Cop, Sinkr, Depth of Extinction and SnarfQuest Tales all launched, earning awards and fans.
We know this just scratches the surface of what GGDA members accomplished in 2017.
Our ranks continued to grow, and so did the great things you created.
If you are a GGDA member planning a game launch, crowdfunding campaign or other event, email [email protected] so we can use our resources to help you.
If you have accidentally let your membership lapse, go renew it today so we can help make your game projects a success.
Georgia is becoming the center of esports for the East Coast, and is also becoming one of the top esports destinations in the world.
From Hi-Rez Studios’ HRX to Turner’s eLeague to Blue Mammoth’s Brawlhalla Championship Expo to DreamHack to King’s Cup to the Georgia Esports League (GEL) finals, there seems to be a top-notch esports event taking place in Georgia whenever you want to go to one.
While only a few GGDA studios make esports titles, everyone benefits from the constant attention this brings our community.
In addition, we are seeing more and more people get into game development from the esports community, so the GGDA is proud to be part of this dramatic success.
Speaking of dramatic success, we are very happy with the video game tax credit that the Georgia legislature and the Governor enacted this year.
Starting in 2018, game studios qualify for the tax credit when they pay $250,000 in Georgia salary. While it works similarly to the film tax credit that made Georgia the movie center of the world, it has some differences that are better suited to our industry. We consider it the model for how these credits should work in the US and elsewhere. The credit is structured to support a studio while its game is in production, when studios need that help the most.
If you need more information on how the credits work, do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]
Expanding Our Reach Online
We understand that many of you cannot attend our meetings and workshops in person, so our AV team (Matt Franklin, Brian Miller, Pauline Lu, James Ridgeway and others) worked like mad to expand our reach with livestreams and videos.
We may not be the biggest channel in the world, but our streams have had more than 600 viewers at a time and have picked up more than 35,000 views.
Our YouTube channel has also been popular, with more than 400 subscribers and 20,000 views. We stream every Tuesday night, so tune in and join the fun.
We know that this is one of our new programs that our members appreciate. We are always interested in what else you would like to see, so please feel free to email [email protected] with any thoughts or suggestions. You can also get access to even more content by supporting our Patreon campaign.
The GGDA Around Georgia
Despite our success online, it is very clear that our in-person events are what our members value the most.
We had another great series of regular GGDA meetings all across the state in 2017.
CIMFest in Columbus really rocked it, with good local attendance and hundreds of more viewers online. Bob Carter proved to be an inspirational CIMFest keynote speaker, and all its sessions offered new insights for its attendees.
Our meetings in Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus and elsewhere attracted hundreds of people to game jams, video game competitions, playtesting, panels, guest speakers and more. We tried out some of the best VR in the world, learned how to deal effectively with the press, and generally succeed in the games industry. Of course, many of you came out for the networking, and we had no end of that.
We capped it all off with our biggest holiday party yet. Thanks to Tripwire for sharing its new office with us for a great event.
Meanwhile, SIEGE got larger than ever.
- We have long started with our College Fair on the Thursday of SIEGE. This year, the College Fair drew in more than 600 attendees. We also added in-depth workshops and the Unity Developer Meetup, which attracted another 100 game devs that night.
- Our SIEGE Investment Conference brought in 100 developers, investors and industry experts to help shepherd new studios to success.
- The main conference itself had 700 registered attendees.
- The GEL finals capped it all off, attracting 50 more attendees despite taking place during a hurricane. We also had a strong online audience for it and all our SIEGE livestreams.
Thank you to all of our SIEGE volunteers and leadership for their many hours of work this year-- it is truly a team effort.
Our call for speakers for SIEGE 2018 will be going out in Spring, so if you want to see specific speakers or sessions at SIEGE, keep an eye out and apply to speak!
As always, thanks again to our community here in Georgia, and our supporters around the world! You are what makes this organization both successful and a pleasure to work with.
Please let us know if you have suggestions for future events, areas of need, or are interested in finding out more about the different levels of membership and how they might be able to help you.
-Andrew Greenberg, Executive Director
P.S. You can follow us all year via www.ggda.org, our Patreon, @GGDA_ORG on Twitter, our YouTube channel and in the Georgia Game Developers Association group on Facebook.
P.P.S. Special thanks to our Patreon supporters: Steven Coffey, Burton Posey, Lee Friedman, James Simpson, and Tres Carpenter.