Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Massachusetts Established as $2 Billion Digital Gaming Hub

More than 1200 Gaming Jobs Fuel High-Profile Titles and Industry Growth

MassTLC released the results of a survey on the digital gaming industry which revealed that the gaming sector brings revenues exceeding $2 billion to the state. Massachusetts is home to many world-renowned game designers and has spawned some of today's most popular gaming titles including BioShock, Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, Rock Band, Scrabble Cubes, Second Life and Zoo Tycoon.

With more than 1200 tech professionals currently employed across the state, the MassTLC expects gaming industry jobs to increase by 20% in 2009.

"The digital gaming industry is on fire in Massachusetts -- one of the fastest growing sectors in technology and entertainment in the country," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I am committed to supporting this and other creative economy industries, for the job opportunities they create and for what they do to elevate Massachusetts' strengths as a center of technology innovation."

Key findings from the MassTLC survey include:
- Nearly 50 percent of companies surveyed have been in business for more than five years, exhibiting depth and longevity.
- The gaming industry employs approximately 1200 people across the state in the areas of engineering, art, game design and quality assurance.
- Massachusetts colleges and universities are home to 15 programs supporting the digital gaming industry, including WPI's Interactive Media and Game Development program and Northeastern University's graduate program in game design.
- 79 percent of Massachusetts-based gaming companies are private or angel-funded, while 13 percent are venture-funded and 8 percent are public.
- 46 percent of companies surveyed focus on the PC as a gaming platform, followed by 13 percent each primarily serving Xbox 360 and P33 gamers.
- Casual games are the most prominent area of focus for Massachusetts gaming companies, followed by core or console games and MMOs.

"It's an exciting time to be president of a digital games company in the state of Massachusetts. With the talent that we have collectively recruited and developed along with the games industry's commitment to innovation, we're confident that Massachusetts will continue to be a leader of the game," said Peter Blacklow, president of WorldWinner and EVP of GSN Digital.

"I am pleased to be working with the leaders in the industry on this important endeavor to will help attract top talent and foster entrepreneurship in the industry locally," said Radoff.

"The MassTLC is excited to work with the state, Boston Post Mortem and the MIT Enterprise Forum's SIG to support the local digital game community," said Tom Hopcroft, president and CEO of MassTLC. "Given the growth and potential we've identified, we know our gaming industry cluster will be a win for all -- the state, colleges and universities and businesses."

For the MassTLC digital gaming survey, the organization surveyed more than 30 leading Massachusetts gaming companies in the first half of 2009. The survey was conducted on behalf of MassTLC’s digital gaming cluster, an initiative co-chaired by Peter Blacklow, president of WorldWinner and EVP of GSN Digital and Jon Radoff, CEO of GamerDNA. The cluster hosts more than 30 companies, including 2K Boston, 38 Studios, GamerDNA, Harmonix Music Systems, QuickHit, Rockstar New England, Turbine and WorldWinner.

In the year to come, MassTLC will be working with UMASS Boston on further research in the Massachusetts gaming industry through a grant awarded to UMass Boston by the UMASS President's Creative Economy Initiatives fund. The research will take a deeper dive into the impact of the industry on the Massachusetts economy.

Read More:
- Hardly Kids' Stuff: Assessing the $2B Videogame Industry in Massachusetts, by Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe
- Report: Video Games a $2B industry in Massachusetts, by Associated Press, Boston Herald
- MassTLC Gaming Survey Touts $2B Industry, by Rodney Brown, Mass High Tech
- Video Games Add $2B to Massachusetts Economy, Tech Group Says, by Wade Roush, xconomy
- Couch Potatoes and the State Economy, by Matthew Brown, Worcester Business Journal

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