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Game Business Location Advantages

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I was wondering if being in an area where the nearest game developer was about 500 miles away was a good thing? I mean Market wise, does it really matter if your around an area with many developers? I would think that a general culture would be more prevelant in such an area (Such as California), but the cost of business would be more expensive there. I remeber listening to a tape from the GDC mentioning that areas that don''t have any developers around may be more inexpensive to start up. Does anyone have any formal knowlage on this? peace -Sage13

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Well, I don''t know about formal knowledge, but it makes logical sense that many successful game studios have started up or migrated to more heavily populated areas. This gives them better access to talent, gives them access to universities and training centres from which to recruit, etc. It''s going to be harder to find excellent talent in a sparsely populated area. Also, larger cities often have incentives to get businesses to start up in their jurisdiction, including tax breaks, loans, etc.

Still, large urban centres tend to be a lot more expensive as well, so your start-up costs will be higher, as will your burn rate. So, as a new studio, it might make more financial sense to be located in a less urban area to take advantage of lower cost of living, cheaper rents, lower operating expenses, lower salary payouts, etc.

In the end, I think you have to keep in mind that the game industry worker is a fairly migratory creature. In most cases, they will go where the (good) work is. That''s not to say someone wouldn''t prefer Austin to Iowa City, but a job is a job.

If you''re starting up a studio, you have to think of what makes most sense financially. In most cases, I''d think keeping your operating costs to a minimum would be priority #1. Then again, if you''re rolling in funding then it might not be a problem.

Hope that helps somewhat. ?

R.

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Yes thank you.

I''d like to mention that the area That I lie in, CHarlotte NC, Is a very great area for business. It is a deciently sized city that isn''t expensive. The talent and resources are also well established as there are: UNCC, CPCC, The Art Institue, and several key Tech schools right outside my door. Heh.

I''m trying to establish, within the next ten years, a decient game developer from this area. I think our support for this new type of business in this area will be well accepted and long overdue.

Thanks again for the feedback

peace

-Sage13

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FWIW: Charlotte isn''t *that* far from other game-dev companies. There are quite a few of them in the Raliegh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Red Storm, Viscious Cycle, and others are in that area.

To answer your question, though, unlike other industries where a larger ratio of population to practitioner (e.g., chiropractors) means an un-saturated market with higher profit potential, game-dev usually benefits from saturation. Having several game-dev shops in the same general area (e.g., Austin, TX) provides greater access to experienced talent, and also provides a magnet attracting industry hopefuls to that area.


DavidRM
Samu Games

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Yes, and to add to what David said, it doesn''t hurt to be close to a density of companies in related industries either, like post-production or animation houses for film.

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Hum. Good info, I''ll have to lok into those developers in Raligh and Durham.
Thanx. Even with that, there is a huge amount of talent here just being exported. I think I would like to research setting up shop here for a while. I''ll look more into the ups and downs. If you have any more advice or info, please.

thanx again

-Sage13

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Move to Atlanta, we always need more developers down here. Cost of living and doing business is reasonable, there''s good public transportation, nice weather, clean air, all kinds of universities to pull from...

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Move to New York City. It''s the best city in the world, but there are no game developers here!

Well ok there are some, but come on... Take Two? Please!

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quote:
Original post by Obscure
Move to the Bahamas. Sit on the beach, who cares about work

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions


Amen!! And there are no game developers there either!!

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I''m in Raleigh, NC. Actually, the RTP is somewhat of a hotspot for game companies, as has been discussed a few times in the past on these boards. I''ll add to the list of game companies that are here, or near hear:

Viscious Cycle - Chapel Hill
Epic (yes, *THE* Epic) is in Cary
Red Storm - Cary/Morissville
Sinister Games - Raleigh
NDL (NetImmerse game engine) - Chapel Hill
iRock - Cary/Morrisville
Random Games - not sure if they''re around anymore
Shrapnel Games - Apex
Timeline Computer Entertainment (I think now defunct now since their game sold VERY few copies) - Cary/Morrisville
LIPSinc - lip sync software maker for game developers - Morrisville
Octagon Entertainment - game agency - Chapel Hill
Quicksand Games - the startup game division of my parent company (see signature below message). We''re not really established in the public eye yet. Kind of doing some secrety things right now!

I know I''m forgetting someone else. I believe there is another new game startup, but I don''t know the name.

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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THanx Graham I missed a few that you have.

peace

-Sage13

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No problem. RTP is still a little ways from Charlotte, but doesn''t it make you feel good that your state is well represented in the industry? .

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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Well, if you really want an extremely cheap deal, you could move to the center of the ghetto and buy a garage and paint a sign that says ''Ghetto Games''. I''m sure that''d be cheap, and you wouldn''t have much competition .

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