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Wake Launches Campaign to Lure Video-Gaming Industry

Posted November 19, 2007
Updated November 20, 2007

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— Wake County has launched a new marketing campaign targeted at the video-gaming industry in an effort to get more companies to move to the area, develop software and create jobs.

"This is the hub worldwide for making engine technology for games, which a lot of people don't even know," said Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, one of more than 30 gaming businesses in the Triangle.

Capps said the video-gaming industry is bigger than the move industry for box office sales.

That's why Wake County Economic Development hopes its new marketing campaign can get companies to focus on Raleigh. Its target is serious gaming, a bit different than the entertainment side, Executive Director Kenneth Atkins said.

"Serious games use the same technology, the simulation, and in many cases the 3-D interactive components for training purposes," he said.

One of the selling points for the campaign is the area schools.

For example, Wake Technical Community College has a new two-year associate's degree in the field. Teachers say the program is successful and that they are having trouble finding enough space.

"We started with 50-some students for 2006," said Dr. Kai Wang, who serves as the department head for the college's gaming technology program. "Now, we have close to 200 students in our program."

Those students go out and get jobs in an industry that is hurting for qualified candidates.

And with the prospect of getting more companies and creating more jobs, the outlook for gaming is getting serious.

The gaming industry also has support at the state level. The House of Representatives has a bill that would give tax credits to companies that produce digital games.

11 Comments

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  • Godless Liberal Nov 20, 2007

    [[ Video games are amusements, for children, but apparently adults with arrested adolescence are spending their free time playing them. ]]Yeah, and I hear adults also still play basketball, golf, chess, checkers and even monopoly! I mean, grow up already!

    If you examine the video gaming demographics you find the average gamer's age is 30 years. 43% of gamers are 18-49.

    http://www.theesa.com/files/2005EssentialFacts.pdf

    Behaving like a responsible adult doesn't mean never having fun.

    (Also, let me head off the inevitable comment by saying: "oh noes, video games are ruining the family/society!")

  • Godless Liberal Nov 20, 2007

    [[ At first I thought after reading the title that they were referring to the gambling type games.....guess that will have to wait until the bible thumpers leave office ]]Opposition to gambling isn't limited to religious circles. Lotteries/Casinos/Gaming represent a pyramid scheme to redistribute wealth from the community to the coffers of whomever is running the game. Gaming produces many negative side effects while offering very few, if any, real benefits ("it's entertainment", yeah sure).

    Legal gaming isn't a sin, it's simply bad public policy.

  • ty will belabor a point Nov 20, 2007

    Gaming is not "IT". I run a small studio and there are no outsourced developers I've found who can compete with a programmer who understands "game" development. Those same guys would flounder in an IBM or enterprise software environment.

    Godless Liberal; give me a break. It's called the "free market". If I spend 3 years making a game that sucks, I deserve to close. This industry is no different than the film industry. Creative, original, fresh programming will win every time.

  • Godless Liberal Nov 20, 2007

    Game-making software houses are a tough environment. Developers work long hours for many years with a very low probability of creating a hit. Game houses release hundreds (thousands) of games every year but only a hand-full become successful. What happens to the company or team that makes the flops? That's right, pink slips.

    Certainly someone has to create the games, but I'd rather see the triangle investing in sustainable software industries.

  • doodad Nov 20, 2007

    mrtwinturbo, bible thumpers?

    Well, since Black is in prison, Morgan is in hot water, and many of Black's cohorts are being investigated, I guess you would support such politicians as long as they let you gamble.

    You need not say more.

  • djofraleigh Nov 20, 2007

    Wake Tech has a state of the art program in game design now.

    As for mistaking videogames with the video gambling, may the state never stoop so low as to again take advantage of its poor, uneducated, desperate citizens with another bad bet and making even bigger losers out of them.

    Before doing another EDUCATIONAL Lottery-type thing, I'd be for simply legalizing gambling, regulating it, and taxing it a la Las Vegas slots, which pay 98%. But, then, I don't see gambling as producing ANYTHING, for it doesn't, except corruption in general.

    Video games are amusements, for children, but apparently adults with arrested adolescence are spending their free time playing them. I don’t understand that any more than I understand why adults would still read comic books, but then, I haven’t experienced some of the new, interactive games aimed at adults. Might be better than TV? Someone tell us about them and their appeal, please.

  • Cable Nov 20, 2007

    mrtwinturbo please construct a comment that deals with the subject and not take a cheap shot at Christianity.

  • smitty Nov 19, 2007

    Why waste the money? Clearly they are coming here on their own. There are over 30 video game related companies in the area.

  • mrtwinturbo Nov 19, 2007

    At first I thought after reading the title that they were referring to the gambling type games.....guess that will have to wait until the bible thumpers leave office

  • 37 Nov 19, 2007

    Good luck to them. Anything to preserve local IT jobs is welcome.

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