#1 Fastest Growing City in the U.S.
(Raleigh, NC) Forbes, March 2013See more rankings ▶▶
There are a number of names for this industry cluster: Interactive Digital Media; Game Development; Advanced Learning Technologies; the list goes on. The bottom line is this, Raleigh is an outstanding place for companies in this space for a number of reasons. The existing cluster of companies means people here have the skills required to design, develop, storyboard and produce successful games. Local universities and community colleges are actively educating the next generation of talent. Unlike other locations where this cluster is strong, Raleigh offers an affordable, yet lively, alternative for people looking to lay down roots.
Interesting concept, right? Within this industry, there are definite sub-categories. Here in Raleigh, the largest ones include Entertainment Games, Simulation/Advanced Learning Technologies and Engine Development.
Entertainment Game companies in Raleigh and the Triangle are producing some of the most sought after titles in the industry. Epic Games' Gears of War and Red Storm Entertainment's Ghost Recon franchises are two great examples.
Advanced Learning Technologies have grown from primarily simulators built for the defense industry into tools used by a wide range of professions. Local ALT companies include 3Dsolve and Virtual Heroes.
Engine Developers are arguably the most technology intense players in this industry. In this sub-sector, companies like Epic Games Unreal Engine and Gamebryo create the foundation for other companies to build their games upon. In other words, these are the engines that drive games. The name makes a bit more sense now, doesn't it.
The Digital Games Research Center at NC State University is comprised of faculty from four colleges and focused on research and education in digital game technologies.
Wake Technical Community College offers an AAS in Simulation and Game Development where graduates will be ready to enter the workforce as skilled game testers, assistant designers and modelers.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is home to a renowned computer graphics program which specializes in areas including virtual environments; medical image processing; scientific visualization and geometric modeling.
Duke University's computer science and engineering programs include artificial intelligence and computational geometry. It is also home to the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE): the Southeast's only fully enclosed, six-sided virtual reality environment.