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Louisiana, Utah Top-Ranked Digital Media Leaders

With innovative incentives and Oscar-worthy talent, Louisiana is the top-ranked state in our new Digital Media Leaders category in Business Facilities’ 2012 State Rankings Report.

“Louisiana’s rich culture in creativity, film, music and television has been a natural fit for the development of an emerging digital media and technology industry,” said Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers.

“The activity in this red-hot growth sector is statewide, with new studios and projects emerging on what seems like a monthly basis in digital media hubs including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport,” he added.

The digital media surge in Louisiana has drawn major players who already boast a bounty of impressive awards, including two Academy Awards at this year’s Oscars. The gold statuettes went to Moonbot Studios in Shreveport for its animated short subject, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, and Pixomondo, whose work on the film Hugo won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Piximondo announced earlier this year it is investing $1.2 million to open shop in Baton Rouge’s Celtic Media Centre.

Louisiana edged out another emerging digital media powerhouse, Utah, and outpaced perennial media centers New York and California to take the top ranking in BF’s Digital Media Leaders category.

Louisiana’s digital media industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, growing at a rate of more than 100 percent. The state has almost 19,000 skilled software developers and more than 100,000 professionals with a skill set conducive to digital media or software development. In addition, its information sector, including software publishing and telecommunications, has experienced the second fastest growth rate in the country since June 2009.

Rogers noted that New Orleans robust comeback from the Hurricane Katrina disaster has been driven by an aggressive economic development strategy focused on new growth sectors.

“New Orleans is undergoing an economic renaissance — and digital media is playing an integral role,” he said.

The Crescent City has attracted GE Capital’s new technology office, adding hundreds of jobs to the local workforce. GE chose New Orleans after a site selection process that scrutinized hundreds of locations.

Known as the “Creative Capital of the South,” Baton Rouge has attracted development studios such as Electronic Arts, Firebrand Games, Crawfish Games, Nerjyzed Entertainment, BitRaider MMO. Firebrand Games, a critically acclaimed video game development company, currently is working on titles for the Nintendo DS and Wii.

Our Digital Media Leaders ranking is calculated based upon an evaluation of available incentives, recent project activity, cluster growth potential and initiatives/job creation in digital animation, video games, graphics and film sectors.

Here are the top 10 states in our Digital Media Leaders category:

BUSINESS FACILITIES 2012 STATE RANKINGS REPORT:

DIGITAL MEDIA LEADERS

1 LOUISIANA

2 UTAH

3 NEW YORK

4 MASSACHUSETTS

5 CALIFORNIA

6 OREGON

7 GEORGIA

8 RHODE ISLAND

9 COLORADO

10 NORTH CAROLINA

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