When most people think “game industry,” the region that usually comes to mind is the San Francisco Bay Area, but an industry as big and booming as this one can’t really be contained in a single region. In fact, there are game industry hubs all over the country, including The Triangle in North Carolina. The convergence point of major cities Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh, the region is home to big names like Epic Games, Red Storm, Insomniac, and of course, The Escapist.
“RTP is the world capital in game engines, with market leaders including Epic Games, Emergent Game Technologies, and Vicious Cycle,” the Triangle Game Initiative told the industry research firm DFC Intelligence in an interview. Epic Games produces the hugely popular Unreal Engine 3, while Emergent’s Gamebryo 3D engine has been used in everything from Oblivion to Civilization IV. The TGI also made mention of the region’s world leading output of serious games and training and simulation software.
So what is it that makes The Triangle such an up-and-comer? Well, who wants to pay sky-high rent in the Bay Area, right? Sounds like a joke, but it’s true. “The RTP area has one of the largest concentrations of game development companies in the U.S., and is a low cost, high quality of life region with home prices that are less expensive than comparable hubs such as Austin, Seattle, Boston, or San Francisco,” the Triangle Game Initiative said. Furthermore, the region has been immune to the recent housing collapse, having never gone through a speculative boom.
On top of that, there are numerous schools in the area providing education in game development skills, a well-rounded infrastructure of support services in the area, and, of course, it’s convenient for developers to have the company they licensed their game engine from just a short drive away.
The creator-focused culture of The Triangle may be one of its greatest assets, however. “RTP is developer-centric rather than publisher-centric,” the TGI said. “This is a place where real innovation in game creation happens, not where it gets farmed out from.”