Taken from another angle, if Warner Bros. suffers from its incidental proximity to Universal Studios, then the constant influx of new talent arriving in Los Angeles via Greyhound bus, suitcase in hand, looking for potential stardom at either company, more than makes up for the trouble of sharing. By working together, the member companies of TGI may be doing themselves a minor disservice at some level, but the potential for shared greatness can't be ignored. And so far it seems to be working.
"In a short amount of time, the TGI has helped position the Triangle as the recognized industry hub for game development on the East Coast," says Watkins. "It is hard to imagine this happening as rapidly as it has without the TGI taking the lead in these efforts."
Go Off On a Tangent
The power brokers of the TGI may be on to something, but it's not exactly new. Apparently the strategy of making friends out of enemies is an old one, and for good reason: It works.
"Scratch the surface of any regional industry hub and you'll find an association promoting and supporting the hub," says Macris. "An example of another organization that has had notable success is Alliance Numérique (AN), a non-profit organization, which has served as the business network for Quebec's new media and interactive digital content. AN hosts the annual Montreal International Game Summit and has been active in lobbying the Quebec government for tax credits for game development. Likewise, the rise of Austin as a game development hub has to be partly credited to the Austin Game Initiative, which spawned the Austin Game Conference."
TGI, it would seem, is in good company. And like its sister organizations in Quebec and Austin, its efforts are showing measurable success.
"TGI is all about building a community that will generate the very best games and technology for gamers," says Farnsworth. "I've been in the Triangle area of North Carolina for over 12 years and we find that our local community is doing just that. Look at the top games and engines over the past few years and then trace their origins, and you'll be surprised how many have strong connections to the Triangle area of North Carolina."
Farnsworth is referring to games like Unreal Tournament, Gears of War, Ratchet & Clank, Matt Hazard, anything with the name Tom Clancy on it and every game developed using the Unreal engine, like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. All of these games were developed in whole, or in part, in the Triangle. And more are still coming. Everyday. No wonder the Triangle is rapidly becoming the new power center of videogaming.
"In the end, TGI makes an impact for gamers by fostering an idea-generating community that will fill future consoles and computers with unbelievable technology and fun," says Farnsworth.
That's an angle you don't need a protractor to measure.
Russ Pitts is Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist, and an Executive Member of TGI.