It is game on here in greater Seattle. The Entertainment Software Association just released their 2020 Economic Impact Report, and it confirms that Washington state now ranks No. 2 in the nation for annual video game industry economic output. The industry supports a total of 48,808 jobs and generates an economic output of $11.6 billion.
Everyone here agrees that we live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. But our equidistant location between Asia and the East Coast certainly doesn’t hurt. Coupled with a pro-business environment that offers no personal or corporate income tax, and a B&O “High Technology” tax credit for research and development activities, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
But the video game industry also benefits greatly from the existing ecosystem of talent, industry and education programs. Not only are we home to the two largest cloud computing companies in the world, we have more than 150 video gaming companies that are architecting the interactive experiences you know and love.
Amazon Games, Big Fish, Bungie, Double Down Interactive, Microsoft, Nintendo, Twitch and Wizards of the Coast are just a few household names that are taking mind blowing experiences and interactive gaming and events to the global stage. You can download a complete list here. But where did it all start?
Interestingly enough, not where you might think. Boeing is often credited for revolutionizing the kind of interactive simulations we take for granted today. They incubated the engineers who put the first cutting-edge hardware, software and people into space. The industry really started to heat up when Nintendo put its North American headquarters in Redmond, WA in the 80s. Soon after Microsoft entered the video game industry. Today, they bring a new generation of gaming and interactivity to the market with the Xbox and HoloLens.
So you’ve already got almost 50,000 people in Washington working in the industry. But what about the future workforce? Well, there are 10 education institutions in the region with specific tracks for gaming and design, plus an eSports league:
- – Bellevue Community College Digital Media Arts
- – Centralia College eSports
- – DigiPen Institute of Technology
- – Edmonds Community College Game Development
- – Highline College
- – Lake Washington Digital Gaming
- – Shoreline Community College
- – Skagit Valley
- – The Academy of Interactive Entertainment: Seattle
- – University of Washington Gaming
- – Washington State Game Studies and Design
Now we know what you are thinking. Who is number one in the nation for video game industry economic output? The answer is California. But take a look at their business tax climate according to the Tax Foundation.
Ouch. #49 doesn’t look very friendly at all. It’s pretty clear you want to be here to innovate and succeed in the industry you pay-to-play every day. Get in touch, and we’ll plug you in.