GLENVILLE — The old Glenville firehouse on Saratoga Road is poised to become a hub for the video game industry.
The state on Thursday announced plans for Rocket Science Corporation, an international video game developer, to turn the 8,200-square-foot facility into its new headquarters, creating 30 jobs. The space would also include the Capital District Gaming Studio, which would act as a video game incubator and game developer certification facility.
Empire State Development, the state’s economic development arm, announced plans for the project, along with more than $1.4 million support, including a $200,000 construction grant and $1.26 million in tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program. Funding for the project was recommended by the Capital Region Economic Development Council.
“We are happy to support the growth of the video game development industry in New York State,” Hope Knight, president of Empire State Development, said in a statement. “Rocket Science Corporation and the Capital District Gaming Studio will help create jobs, revitalize an underused highly-visible property along a main thoroughfare, and spur new investments in a dynamic and growing industry.”
The project is expected to cost $1.6 million, according to Empire State Development.
Rocket Science works to fulfill development contracts for other video game companies, and has seen continued growth since its founding last year by Brian Corrigan and Tom Daniel, two veterans of the industry.
The company is planning to operate multiple locations throughout New York and the United Kingdom.
Rocket Science currently has offices in Halfmoon and employs around a dozen people, according to Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle, who added the company is still working with town planners but expects to move into the facility later this year.
Kozetzle said the project will redevelop a blighted piece of property in a major corridor of town, and will help support nearby restaurants and other businesses in an area that has continued to see development.
“This is going to be a huge improvement to the corridor and the area in general,” he said. “Obviously, we love the jobs coming to that part of the town. There are some restaurants and other businesses starting to come that I think this will help feed into. It’s a real positive and a win-win all around.”
The Capital Region has become an increasingly popular destination for video game developers in recent years. Large studios like Blizzard Entertainment already call the region home and a flurry of smaller, independent studios, including Rushdown Studios in Ballston Spa, also call the region home.
New York has made it a priority to attract the video game industry, which is expected to grow to a $321 billion industry by 2026, according to a recent report issued by the World Economic Forum.
The state recently unveiling the Stage Digital Game Development Tax Credit Program. The $25 million program will award $5 million in funding over the next five years to support game development projects that begin on or after Jan 1.
“New York State has played a crucial role in the growth of the gaming industry in the Capital Region,” Corrigan, the Rocket Science’s CEO, said in a statement. “With the addition of the new production credit, New York has the opportunity to become a truly global hub for innovation.”
But officials hope to keep the momentum growing through the Capital District Gaming Studio, which will provide an open space for independent game developers to work and include space for educational programs, including a training facility for students.
The program will be coordinated with existing programs at SUNY Schenectady and the University at Albany, according to Empire State Development.
“I think it adds to the tapestry of businesses that we do have in Glenville,” Koetzle said. “It’s obviously an industry for the future so I think that’s very positive for us.”
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.
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