Stardock Sytems, a PC software publisher whose games made several best-of lists in 2008, will expand it's headquarters in Plymouth, Mich., according to Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who trumpeted the news Tuesday in her State of the State address.
Michigan's aggressive film incentive package also applies to the gaming industry, making it one of only two states to offer enticements to the rapidly-growing industry.
Stardock SystemsScreenshot from Sins of a Solar Empire, winner of IGN's 2008 PC Gamer of the Year and published by Stardock Systems.
"The fact that these jobs exist in Michigan today is no accident," said Granholm. "These jobs are here because we put a strategy in place to bring them here - often by beating out other states and other countries to get them."
US music, movie and gaming revenues for 2006-2007:
Gaming industry: 28.4% growth
Movie industry: 1.8% growth
Music Industry: -1.8% growth
2007 sales figures:
Movie industry: $9.66 billion
Gaming industry:$18.85 billionGames: $9.5 billionConsoles: $9.35 billion
Total games sold: 267.8 million
Source: Ars Technica
Granholm's good-news announcement was made possible by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, which Tuesday approved tax credits for Stardock and nine other businesses.
Detroit Free Press, February 3: The state also approved tax credits for Stardock Systems Inc., a software developer and publisher in Plymouth Township. The company will invest $900,000 to expand to allow for the development and implementation of a new PC game.
Stardock worked with developer Ironclad Studios to publish IGN's 2008 PC Game of the Year, Sins of a Solar Empire.
IGN, Best of 2008: This is the game that we may have easily played the most in 2008. It's that much fun. It's also a game that has had incredible post-release support in the form on free enhancements and additions from developer Ironclad Studios, which proved to be the little studio that could. Thanks to its wildly original and fresh take on RTS and its compelling gameplay that kept us up late at nights, this is our PC game of the year.
But Stardock is best known for their work on graphical user interface (GUI) customization, particularly Object Desktop, a software package that allows PC users to change the way Windows XP and Vista look, feel and function.
Their expansion is expected net 55 jobs, according to the Detroit Free Press. And these jobs could mean more to the state than those being created in the film industry.
MLive.com, Nov. 6, 2008: Among the reasons is that video game studios operate differently from film production companies. They're permanent businesses. They hire full-time people who work in offices, buy houses and send their children to school where they live, he (Tony Wenson, COO of the Michigan Film Office) explained.