Oregon as a top video game industry hot spot

By Technology Association of Oregon.

An article ran in The Portland Business Journal proclaiming “Valued at $111M, Oregon is building a top-10 video game industry,” a very encouraging headline, for sure. Especially for those of us who have been trying very hard to not only quantify, but also support and grow, this sector of the state’s economy. This information came off a report entitled “Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2014 Report,” an economic impact study conducted by Economists Incorporated and released by Entertainment Software Association which quantifies the U.S. video game industry’s contributions to the American economy.

The takeaway for us is: Oregon is a Top 10 US economic center for Interactive Game Development with more than $110m being generated from in-state employment. It sits just below Pennsylvania at #9 on the list, but when you specifically look at the “Economic Contribution to the State,” it moves up to #8.

But it still has a way to go to reach #7, Illinois.

There is clear growth in this area and that’s very exciting news, but in reading the full report it appears that much of their data pertaining specifically to the “entertainment software industry” (a sub-section of the much larger “software development” NAICS category) is derived from a site called GameDevMap.com. Significantly, this source is missing a good number of companies that are here in the state.

SuperGenius, Liquid Development, Mountain Machine and Brainium Studios are just a small group of companies working out of Portland that are not listed on the GameDevMap.com site. There are also several from Eugene that are missing, including: Disney Interactive Studios, RockYou, The Engine Company, and Thunderbeast.

So, there’s actually more here than they are reporting. Yes, that would easily move the state further up the Top Ten list of the 2014 Report – maybe even supplanting #8 Pennsylvania with ease – but other states also are likely missing several of their own indigenous companies, and so that particular playing field is probably leveled out for all states.

Suffice it to say that it’s clear Oregon’s entertainment game development economy is both present and growing. This is underscored by the recent success of Indie Game Con in Eugene this past October where actual attendance exceeded expectations by 4x.

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