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Gaming vs. Movie: Which Industry Is Bigger In California

Recent studies have revealed that the video game industry in California is on the rise. For instance, the reports reveal that the industry generates 51.8 billion USD annually. This revenue came in the form of direct industry output as well as other stakeholders in the video game industry in the state. Experts argue that gaming has grown dramatically thanks to its different guises. So, how does this growth compare to the movie industry’s growth in California?   

Film Industry in California

Reports suggest that several top companies are moving their TV and film production operations to other places like New Mexico because they offer better tax incentives. Fortunately, film production showed positive signs in the third quarter of 2021. Reports also revealed that local production is also on the rise after the pandemic had slowed it down. The production categories doing well include feature films, TV productions, and reality TV productions.

Governor Gavin Newson signed the new 330 million USD increase in the state’s film and tax incentive in an attempt to revive the industry. With that move, the state now offers 660 million USD to encourage production in the state.  

The Gaming Industry in California

Based on recent reports, the gaming industry is bigger than the movies industry in California. In fact, some industry experts claim that it is bigger than the movie and music industries combined. For example, when a new hit movie from a well-known franchise is about to be released, the whole world takes note and waits for its release eagerly. The franchise owners run adverts on all media platforms. But, when you look at the numbers, it is evident that the gaming industry also performs better than the movie industry in this area.

For example, Grand Theft Auto V’s original version remains the highest-grossing video game. It is also the highest-grossing entertainment product in history. Reports reveal that the title sold 11 million copies within 24 hours of its release. In the process, it generated more than 800 million USD.

In terms of jobs, the industry provided over 83000 distribution-related jobs and over 643,000 jobs related to vendors and businesses.

According to research, California ranks as the top state nationally regarding revenue generated from gaming. Additionally, the industry offers around 218000 jobs in California directly or indirectly.

Besides that, there are over 619 video game company locations in California. Some of the top video game companies in the state include Amazon Games, SEGA, NVIDIA, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Konami, and Intellivision Entertainment. 

The casino industry is also thriving in the state. Casino gambling is legal in the state giving rise to many online casinos. This has made competition in the industry very stiff. Consequently, online casinos listed on Gamble Online site, offering their customers no deposit casino bonuses in an attempt to attract new users and keep current ones. Additionally, mobile casinos are more popular hence many casinos have invested in mobile friendly platforms.

Is California’s Domination under Threat?  

However, California’s domination of the video game industry is being threatened by other states and international operators. Therefore, the video game experts in California have advised the industry to consider future-proofing the industry.

The experts have encouraged the state to protect the industry in the state by offering more tax incentives specifically targeted towards video game and software development companies. Moreover, they advise the state to offer more career opportunities that will guide people into the gaming industry’s jobs.

Gaming companies’ executives argue that the state does not offer enough support to educational systems to fill the jobs in the industry. As a result, it forces them to look beyond the state for recruits. In other cases, they are forced to relocate to other states with a better pool of applicants.

Other recommendations the state could consider are:

  • Adapting its current sales and using tax exemptions that apply to video games to help facilitate firm expansion.
  • Revise or expand its R & D tax credit to work in favor of small businesses and startups.
  • Consider establishing a production-based tax credit for video games.
  • Enhance in-state development of computer programmers and developers. They can achieve this by strengthening relationships between the video game industry and colleges.

Final Thoughts

The film industry in California took a hit during the global pandemic. On the other hand, the gaming industry continued to grow as people looked for alternative ways to entertain themselves. At the moment, the gaming industry is doing better than the film industry in the state in terms of revenue generated and jobs created.

However, the state has made concerted efforts to revive the film industry. When these strategies help revive the industry, it will be interesting to see which one does better than the other. However, if expert opinion is anything to go by, the gaming industry will keep doing better than the film industry in the foreseeable future.


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