DFW’s deep tech roots make it a haven for gaming development and technology innovation

Gaming companies and gaming-related college programs by state

Because of their cutting-edge tech focus, northern California and Seattle have always been acknowledged as the gaming development capitals. Few may realize, however, that Texas plays a dominant role in shaping this sector. Although many larger, well-recognized corporations exist in the sector, like Electronic Arts, gaming development has always been dominated by smaller companies breaking ground through innovations.  

The move towards hybrid and remote work changed the tech space landscape for many of these smaller companies and development outposts. Currently, roughly half of these companies that report operations in Texas are now partially or fully remote. Even with that shift, Texas still ranks among the highest in the US, just slightly behind Washington, in gaming company concentration.  

For the Texas markets, Austin comes in with 77 active companies, or almost 60% of the non-remote companies operating in the state. DFW is no slouch, with 37 companies and close to 30% of the active gaming-related companies in the state. The reason for DFW’s strength is easy to see. Although DFW lacks Austin’s tech-recognition, its roots in computers, chip manufacture, software development, telecom/mobile applications, and even defense has positioned it as a haven for gaming, entertainment, and virtual reality. In fact, historians might recall that “Doom”, released in 1993, was developed by id Software of Richardson, TX.

Texas also ranks a solid “second place” in the US for institutions offering gaming-related courses. For DFW, 7 colleges, from the University of North Texas and University of Texas Dallas to Southern Methodist University, all provide programs in gaming development – and supply a pipeline of local innovators taking ideas through to partnerships, products, and making them “reality”.

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