Did you know many of the games you play – from core shooters, to super casual iPhone and Facebook games were created, designed, or supported by Dallas area companies? Games like Duke Nukem, Rage, and Words with Friends?
D Magazine recently wrote an article titled “Video Games Score Big For Dallas-Fort Worth” where they say gaming adds around $490 million to the Texas economy – much of that in Dallas.
Dallas is also home to a masters degree program at SMU for digital game development where since 2005, they’ve been sending game developers to some of the top companies in the industry.
And lets not leave out game sellers 😉 GameStop is located in Grapevine, TX – and has over 6,500 stores across the globe and has an awesome website!!
Most of the companies below speak for themselves – many of the games produced by these companies were some of my favorites growing up – amazing how long companies can stay relevant in such an evolving industry.
And here’s the list:
Chances are if you’re reading this, you play Words with Friends, and did you know they’re here in the DFW area? They were also recently purchased by Zynga, the 800 lbs gorilla of social gaming:
Bonfire Studios (aka Zynga Dallas)
A collection of game designers with titles like Civilization, Age of Empires and Halo Wars on their resumes make up this game studio acquired by Zynga. They released the iOS title “We Farm” in July of 2010.
3D Realms (legal name Apogee Software, Ltd.)
Heard of Duke Nukem? The originators of this iconic series – now working with also local game publisher Gearbox Software to release Duke Nukem Forever
As they say “Back in action” – Apogee is really the originator of independent game from the days of getting your gaming via floppy disk. They’re currently working on Duke Nukem for the Nintendo 3DS. Duke Nukem is a big deal to Dallas.
Home to Borderlands, Counter Strike, Half-Life, and… wait for it… Duke Nukem Forever! This local game studio even has ties with the original Halo franchise.
One word “Doom”, and how about another “Quake”, and don’t forget Wolfenstein – transforming the gaming industry is what id does best. Their current project Rage, is an upcoming next-gen console release – with a preview game already available on both iPhone, and iPad – but it’s also a new gaming engine that will power games for years to come. They also run the yearly free Quakecon conference here in Dallas.
Billed a “Premium Casual Games” – both a publisher, and creator – they created the Luxor series of games which can be found on iOS devices.
Currently working on Orcs Must Die, robot has roots in games like Age of Empires Online and Halo Wars. Not only do they have a rocking website, their studio looks like a great place to work!
All I need to say is “Star Wars for Kinect” – there done. Based in Lewisville, their last two games were Def Jam Rapstar, and Ghostbusters (which I loved!). Again “Star Wars Kinect” here in my backyard!
Working with some great properties like Shrek and Spongebob, it looks like they’re currently working on some mobile games.
Focusing on Facebook games and mobile casual gaming – they’ve created some great mobile games from EA, like Yahtzee HD and Sim City Deluxe. They’re currently featuring Viva Mall for Facebook.
With titles like Hydro Thunder, and Offroad in their past – they’re currently working on a new MMO.
A new game studio working on iOS games like the popular “Texting of the Bread”.
I know there are probably more – please leave anything I missed in the comments.
Last, this year’s Big Design Conference will have a gaming theme running through many of the tracks – with gamification a very popular UX topic – gaming in general is getting more and more important to what we do as UX Designers, where the lines between games and tools we’re creating blur at times.