Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and High Voltage Software Inc. CEO Kerry Ganofsky announced the company will establish a new video game development studio in New Orleans, with operations beginning in January. HVS will create 80 new direct jobs with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $120,000, plus benefits. In addition, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 116 new indirect jobs, for a total of nearly 200 new jobs in the Southeast Region of the state.
Founded in 1993 by Ganofsky, HVS has shipped 95 game titles and worked with more than 25 major brands, including Star Wars, Toy Story, Batman, SpongeBob SquarePants, Ben 10, LEGO, Lilo & Stitch, Iron Man, Captain America and Family Guy. Based in the Chicago area, HVS has grown into one of the largest third-party game developers in the world. The company selected Louisiana for its new game development studio after a competitive, eight-month site selection process that included potential locations in Georgia, Florida and Texas.
“GNO Inc. is proud to have led the team that brought High Voltage Software to New Orleans,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “High Voltage is one of the most-respected and enduring development studios in America, and their choice of greater New Orleans for expansion strongly validates the existing tech market here, and will undoubtedly catalyze further growth.”
Gov. Jindal said, “Today’s announcement is great news for New Orleans and our entire state. Software development, information technology and digital media companies are flocking to Louisiana because of our rapidly growing, technology workforce and strong tech business climate. Some of the world’s most-respected technology companies are proud to call Louisiana home and many leading digital media companies continue to grow in our state and help us grow our economy. We are proud that companies like HVS are investing in Louisiana and helping us continue to be the new frontier for digital investment. These technology expansions in our state mean future generations of Louisiana’s best and brightest can find their dream job without leaving the state they call home.”
In New Orleans, HVS will lease a suite in Place St. Charles in the city’s Central Business District, where it will begin hiring immediately.
“In the New Orleans game development studio, High Voltage Software is thrilled to continue creating new original IP (intellectual property) for digital, console and mobile platforms while expanding research and development efforts on the bleeding edge of gaming technology,” Ganofsky said. “We are overjoyed to be a business partner in the city of New Orleans and to be a leader in the growing technology community in Louisiana. Likewise, we see potential for meaningful and valued long-term relationships with higher education institutions in the state to enhance software engineering programs for students. The opportunities in New Orleans are truly incredible.”
“High Voltage Software Inc.’s investment in the city is another indication that New Orleans is on a roll – poised for sustained growth across industries,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “This expansion is providing high-wage jobs, creating unique opportunities for our residents and making a strong impact on the local economy. We will continue to identify opportunities to strengthen this vital industry by partnering with our state and regional stakeholders. We look forward to working with High Voltage Software as we connect our residents to the jobs and opportunities.”
“High Voltage Software’s investment in New Orleans demonstrates an acceleration of industry confidence in the city’s native creative culture, entrepreneurial ecosystem and affordable business costs,” said New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) interim president and CEO Melissa Ehlinger. “These assets, along with the state’s digital media tax credits, continue to attract the attention of the world’s leading game developers. We look forward to their success here and their contribution to New Orleans’ economic growth.”
LED began discussing site selection possibilities with HVS in October 2013. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered HVS a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based $150,000 grant to reimburse relocation expenses, along with the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s top-ranked state workforce development program. In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive.
Based in the vibrant Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, High Voltage Software Inc. employs more than 100 of the game industry’s most talented individuals and has been the leading independent game development studio in the Midwest for 21 years. HVS has shipped 95 titles on nearly every console in existence since 1994. Teams at High Voltage have repeatedly proven the ability to create fun games in any genre and on any platform.
More information can be found at www.high-voltage.com.
About Greater New Orleans, Inc.
GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization, serving to coordinate, consolidate, and catalyze economic development activity. The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create jobs and wealth in the Greater New Orleans community. The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.
More information can be found at www.gnoinc.org.