The founders of PopCap Games

Seattle’s gaming industry doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. But the industry is a very big business, and it is growing. A preliminary report from The Washington Interactive Network found that there are now more than 350 gaming and interactive media companies in the region, up from 150 in 2007.

Revenues at these companies were estimated to be $9.7 billion in 2010, more than double the $4.1 billion in revenues in 2006.

Interestingly, two of the biggest success stories in the Seattle tech community in the past 12 months have been in the gaming category. PopCap Games was sold to Electronic Arts for up to $1.3 billion in July, and just last month Double Down Interactive agreed to be sold for up to $500 million to IGT.

“I think it is one of the best places to have a game company,” said PopCap Games co-founder John Vechey, speaking on the GeekWire podcast in December. “One, I love this city. Two, there is a creative atmosphere in Seattle that I believe is different than, let’s say San Francisco…. In Seattle, a lot of the game companies start off as tried-and-true gamers…. I feel like it is more pure.”

The Seattle gaming community’s line-up of game companies is quite impressive, spanning big names such as Valve, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo, Bungie, GameHouse and Big Fish. Zynga just opened a development center in Seattle last year, and a host of smaller, well-respected game studios also call the region home.

Furthermore, two video game educational institutions — DigiPen and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment — have operations here.

The full Economic Impact Study and Cluster Analysis — conducted by Community Attributes — will be released in April. The study is funded by enterpriseSeattle and a grant provided by the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

Comments

  • Guest

    Thanks John.  I’d really like to see GW cover more gaming development/startup news.  Seattle has a lot going on, and it would be great to see it get more local coverage than having to go to DeanT’s site :-)

    • johnhcook

      Completely agree with you. We recognize this is a very important part of the ecosystem, and we plan to cover it in more detail going forward. Just looking back at the past few months, we’ve had gaming veterans Ed Fries (Microsoft/FigurePrints), John Vechey (PopCap) and Glenn Walcott (Big Fish/Double Down) all on the GeekWire podcast/radio show. 

      Also, this story by Todd Bishop on Xbox market share growth has been the most popular on GeekWire this month:

      http://www.geekwire.com/2012/xbox-360-tops-wii-ps3-1st-time-yearly-global-sales

      But there’s always more we can do. We hear ya, and we’ll make games coverage a priority. Thanks for tuning in.

      • Guest

        Yup, saw those, but there’s stories like the Spry Fox vs. 6Waes that involve local game companies that probably warrant coverage.

        Keep it up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Werner/612913547 Steven Werner

    It’s also worth noting that there are a lot of non-tech game companies up here (Seattle). Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Privateer Press, as well as lots of people self publishing in the indie tabletop games sphere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Werner/612913547 Steven Werner

    It’s also worth noting that there are a lot of non-tech game companies up here (Seattle). Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Privateer Press, as well as lots of people self publishing in the indie tabletop games sphere.

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