The popular Sony PlayStation game development firm could be establishing an outpost in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana Technology Park on Florida Boulevard.
The tech park would like to join with Sony Computer Entertainment America to provide the proprietary software and other technology needed to help small firms develop games that could be played on a PlayStation, said officials with the Louisiana Technology Park.
“We’re working with a national large gaming company to do this. And they would actually provide the technical resources — the special software — that a company needs and then be able to publish it,” the executive director of the Louisiana Technology Park, Stephen Loy, told the Research Park Corp. board of directors two weeks ago without naming the company.
The idea, Loy said at the time, is to set aside video game incubator space and equipment at the tech park to be used by “one or two companies at a time with small pockets of two to five people.”
“Yes, if and when the arrangement is finalized, it’s possible that the games could be played on a PS3 (PlayStation 3) console, through the PlayStation Network,” tech park spokesman Jesse Hoggard said Thursday.
The video game incubator project at the Louisiana Technology Park is expected to be in place by the end of the summer, Loy had said.
Sony Computer Entertainment America has its headquarters in Foster City, Calif., and serves as headquarters for all North American operations.
It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp. of America Inc.
Officials at the Louisiana Technology Park and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber were hesitant to say much about the deal, apparently because it’s still in the negotiating phase.
It only became public Thursday when information was inadvertently published in a weekly newsletter BRAC emails to its members and the media.
The information related to Sony was quickly retracted.
The Louisiana Technology Park recently landed BitRaider MMO, a software company in Jacksonville, Fla., as a new tenant, creating 22 jobs paying an average of $51,000 a year in the local economy.
The company describes its software as Netflix-style streaming for video games.
Within minutes, customers can start playing online games with other players connected through the Internet while other parts of the game download in the background.
It’s not yet clear if Sony would bring jobs to the area.
In the past several years, Louisiana has become aggressive at attracting digital media firms such as video game makers.
Firms can earn tax credits for 25 percent of their in-state investment and another 10 percent if those production costs include a Louisiana payroll.
In 2009, $4.9 million was spent on digital media projects in Louisiana, according to an analysis of the program by the BaxStarr Consulting Group, released in April.
In 2010, this amount increased to $12.8 million, according to the study.
The tax credits cost the state about $635,000 in 2009 and $2.2 million in 2010, according to a review of certified projects.