While Georgia is known for its rich history, affinity to peaches, and talented sports teams, some might have not realized how strongly the state is associated with the gaming industry. The Peach State has become a hotbed for the video game industry over the last decade, hosting several world-class gaming facilities and game development companies. As a result, Georgia’s gaming industry employs over 3,000 people, with close to 500 games created every year.
In 2020, Georgia’s gaming industry brought in around $20 million in revenue and the market continues to thrive. As such, economic experts predict that Georgia’s gaming economy will yield around $30 million in 2023 and hit the $35 million mark in 2027. These figures show that gaming is becoming more prevalent than ever in the Peach State.
Here are some facts about Georgia’s gaming industry:
- The video game industry in Georgia directly employs over 3000 people.
- Georgia’s video game industry is projected to reach $38.45 million by 2027, reporting a 7% CAGR.
- The number of video game players in Georgia is expected to exceed 1 million by 2027.
- Atlanta is considered the US esports capital, with the fifth-highest number of gamers in the country.
- The Georgia High School Association certified esports as a college sport in 2018, making Georgia among the first US states to do that.
- Current collegiate esports leagues in Georgia include Ultimate, Super Smash Bros, Platoon 3, Madden, League of Legends, and others.
- Over 5000 students in Georgia have graduated with gaming-related degrees in the last decade.
- In 2017, Georgia ranked among the top 10 states in the video game industry.
- Georgia is the first state to have esports standards certified by the Department of Education.
The rise of Georgia’s gaming industry
Although the Peach State is popular for its thriving film industry, Georgia hosts a huge pool of highly talented game designers, developers, and gamers. The state has managed to leverage the current legislation used in the movie industry to develop its gaming sector. However, Georgia still has strict regulations against some forms of gaming like online casino gaming.
Similar to other states like New Jersey, Michigan, and Indiana, Georgia is among the least friendly states towards online casino games. However, the regulatory landscape is still changing across the US as the online gambling market, so ensure you keep tabs on the latest news as Georgia might become the next US state to permit it. Those in Indiana can see here and stay updated on the latest developments.
Despite their strict rules against online casinos, Georgia’s gaming industry is still thriving, driven by a talented pool of creatives and the rise of innovative gaming technologies. New technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are already proving to be effective ways to boost immersion and interactivity across gaming.
Georgia is also attractive to gaming companies as it offers a tax incentive to companies working in the entertainment sector. Through Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act, gaming companies in the state can apply for a 30% transferable tax incentive when they develop and publish games within state lines. This tax incentive isn’t only limited to video games, so organizations across the entertainment sector can use it to help the video game industry thrive.
Georgia’s esports industry
Contributing around $750 million to the state’s economy every year, esports has become big business in Georgia. Thanks to support from the state and strong partnerships, Georgia has one of the most diverse esports communities in the US. In fact, Atlanta is the undisputed esports capital in the country, with the fifth-highest number of players.
With the popularity of the esports market in the state, Georgia hosts three franchise esports teams, including Hawks Talon, Atlanta Reign, and the newly formed Atlanta FaZe. It also hosts upcoming esports teams like Blue Mammoth, Hi-Rez Studios, and ELeague. The presence of these esports teams in Georgia means there’s a huge potential to get viewing crowds that rival traditional professional sports.
In 2022, Georgia hosted DreamHack Atlanta, an immersive gaming lifestyle festival that brought in around 30,000 people from 21 countries. During the event, gamers were allowed to compete in person for a chance to win different prizes. Georgia has also hosted other large events, including the Commissioner’s Cup for Collegiate esports.
Gaming is big business in Georgia, with the industry contributing millions to the state’s economy every year. In fact, gaming experts reckon that Georgia’s gaming market will feature over 1 million players by 2027 while contributing over $35 million to the economy annually. Additionally, esports is becoming a popular phenomenon in the Peach State, supported by collaborative partnerships with the government and private investors.