With over 900 video game companies particularly in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, California is the undisputed gaming capital in the US. The Golden State hosts the headquarters of some of the biggest gaming companies in the world, ranging from Playstation to Electronic Arts. However, California isn’t the only state that’s attracting the attention of gaming companies.
This article features the top gaming companies based outside California.
International Game Technology (Las Vegas, Nevada)
While the US gambling industry remains stringently regulated in most states, the changing regulatory landscape is encouraging game developers. For instance, there are no legal Arkansas Casino sites, although online gambling is now legal in 16 American states. However, that hasn’t stopped casino game developers like IGT from setting up shop in the country.
Based in Las Vegas, IGT is a global gaming company that specializes in the design, development, and distribution of online slots, classic table games, and other digital gambling systems. The company is popular for developing popular slot machines like Cleopatra, Wheel of Fortune, and Enchanted Unicorn.
Intercept Games (Seattle, Washington)
Launched in 2019, Intercept Game is among the newest gaming companies based in Seattle, Washington. This new game development studio is currently focusing on creating simulation, space, and strategy-based games, with Kerbal Space Program 2 being their biggest project. This innovative game uses immersive audio to simulate the rocket launch and the gameplay is realistic enough that some NASA scientists used it to perform different test runs.
Epic Games (Cary, North Carolina)
Founded in 1991 as Potomac Computer Systems by Tim Sweeney, Epic Games is a leading American video game company located in Cary, North Carolina. The company is popular for creating the Unreal Engine, an innovative game engine that powers their internally developed games like Gears of War, Unreal, and Fortnite.
In 2014, their commercially available game engine was crowned as the Guinness World Record’s most successful game engine. The company has also expanded significantly over the years, acquiring several game developers in the market, including Psyonix, Chair Entertainment, Harmonix, and Mediatonic. Additionally, Epic Games operates studios in several cities across the world, including Seoul, Yokohama, Berlin, and England.
Valve Corporation (Bellevue, USA)
Headquartered in Bellevue, Valve Corporation is another leading American company that specializes in video game development, publishing, and digital distribution of gaming systems. Valve is hailed for creating the software distribution site Steam and the development of several successful video game franchises. That includes Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Dota, Left 4 Dead, and Team Fortress.
Valve was created by former Microsoft employees Mike Harrington and Gabe Newell in 1996, making it among the earliest and most successful gaming companies in the region. The company released its first video game, Half-Life in 1998, receiving critical acclaim thanks to the title’s seamless narrative and realism. Since then, the company has explored different gaming genres, including virtual reality games.
Nintendo (Redmond, Washington)
With its history stretching over a century, Nintendo is among the most beloved video gaming companies in the world. While Nintendo wasn’t originally a gaming company, it has been synonymous with video game entertainment systems over the last four decades.
Since switching to the video game market, Nintendo has developed some of the most iconic characters and gaming franchises in the world. That includes characters like Pikachu, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Princess Zelda. The leading gaming company is also popular for publishing games like Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Bethesda Game Studios (Rockville, Maryland)
Bethesda Game Studios is a two-decade-old gaming powerhouse that became a household name in the video game industry thanks to the success of its pioneering RPG game series, The Elder Scrolls. However, the game worlds are so intricate that they necessitated the development of a “loremaster” role.
Today, Bethesda Game Studios features three satellite studios in Texas and Montreal, employing over 450 people. The company has also expanded into different gaming genres, including shooters, strategy, and sports games.
Rockstar Games (New York)
Based in New York, Rockstar Games is a successful American video game company that predominantly publishes action-adventure games. While racing games have also helped the company’s success, its most popular action-adventure game is the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) franchise, which it took from BMG Interactive. This franchise has sold over 405 million copies, with GTA 5 being the most popular release in the franchise after selling over 185 million copies.
While California has dominated the US gaming market for years, other cities across the world are capturing the attention of leading game developers and hardware manufacturers across the world. These companies are leading the way in developing innovative games for different platforms, creating a diverse gaming landscape that suits the needs of every player.
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