NEW YORK MINUTIAE: Examining the Big Apple's games potential

NEW YORK MINUTIAE: Examining the Big Apple's games potential
Michael French

By Michael French

May 13th 2008 at 10:14PM

Special territory report on Developmag.com explores how NY can be a world-class 'games city' like Montreal, Tokyo or Brighton

We've just posted up a four part feature to Developmag.com called New York Minutae - it's an incisive and detailed look at why New York, one of the world's most famous cities, boasts well known cultural pockets such as film, theatre and fashion scenes, but no games industry akin to development hotspots like Montreal, Tokyo, or Brighton.

The piece is a slightly adapted version of the recent Getting in the Game report, written by Tara Colton for the New York Center for an Urban Future.

In the commentary, she speaks to and surveys those studios in the region, including THQ's Kaos plus the raft of casual games companies in the city, and looks at what could be holding the Big Apple back from being a key part of the global games industry - and makes recommendations for ways to help it take advantage of the current market boom.

"This report, the first comprehensive analysis of New York City’s video game sector, is based on extensive data analysis and more than two dozen interviews with executives of local video game companies, academic officials involved in gaming programs, city officials and an assortment of local and national industry experts. The study was also informed by a wide-ranging survey of dozens of entrepreneurs and workers in the city’s video game industry that was conducted in partnership with the New York chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)," Coulton explains.

"New York has already emerged as one of just a handful of cities in north America to establish a modest-sized cluster of video game companies, thanks to impressive growth in the number of gaming firms over the past few years. As recently as five years ago, the city had only a few companies in the industry; today there are about 30 game development companies and another 55 firms involved in some aspect of games. Many of these firms have been adding employees at a rapid clip."

But she adds: "New York is well behind other gaming hubs like Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal, Vancouver, Boston and Austin in the total number of video game development companies.

"New York undoubtedly has the potential to build on its recent gains and establish a larger video game industry. Doing so would help the city diversify its economy and create good-paying jobs in one of the nation’s most promising sectors. But as this study demonstrates, the growth of the city’s video game sector is far from assured."

The territory report is available to read in four parts:

Getting in the Game:
Looking at the growth of the global games industry in realtion to New York

Novice player: Results from Coulton's survey of New York's studios and city overview

The Next Level: Examining what exactly is holding the city back from competing with other 'games hub' cities

Heroes Wanted: Recommendations on how the NY authorities can help grow the local games industry

Alternatively, you can download the report in its original form direct from the New York Center for an Urban Future in PDF format here.