Washington: The Gaming Hub of the World?
It’s no secret that the global gaming industry is one of the leading moneymakers of the 21st century. According to MarketWatch, the market generates more than both the worldwide film industry and North American sports combined. However, for all of the industry’s success, some may not understand Washington's role in developing modern-day gaming. In many ways, the area is the home of contemporary gaming, and we’re going to explain why.
Because of Washington’s status within the gaming industry, it’s fair to say that the capital has inspired an array of up-and-coming developers across the globe. Aside from leading the way from a traditional console standpoint, they’ve also been at the forefront of mobile advancements. Niantic, for example, is located in Washington and created Pokémon Go, one of the most downloaded mobile games of all time. Through augmented reality, the title revolutionized mobile gaming and aided in enhancing the platform’s audience base.
Not only that, but the success of the 2016 release showcased the importance of evolving away from traditional platforms. As such, this subsequently altered the approaches of Microsoft, who sought to experiment with mobile-friendly cloud gaming during the late 2010s.
As well as the Washington-based company changing its strategy, this mobile revolution also had a knock-on effect on online casinos. Operators like NetBet, who offer an extensive library of slots, reacted in optimizing their browser-based offerings for smartphones. Now, prospective players can enjoy titles like Book of Dead, Fruits, and Jokers, and Queen of Thrones on their mobiles without compromising on performance or aesthetics.
In determining Washington's impact on global gaming, it’s impossible to overlook the volume of homegrown developers that operate within the city. Impressively, the capital of the United States is the home to Microsoft. In turn, this means that the location is also the primary hub for Xbox. Centered in Redmond, the multinational technology company built their facility in 1986, and have been operating out of Washington ever since. According to Microsoft’s official website, their forward-thinking, game-oriented facility features insight into the future of artificial intelligence, a Forza simulator, and much more.
Much like Microsoft, Valve Corporation also have their headquarters in the US’ capital. However, whereas Xbox’s creators originated from Mexico, Valve is a homegrown developer, publisher, and distributor. According to Clive Wilkinson, the 25-year-old gaming company moved into their Bellevue-based headquarters in 2018, and it features nine floors suitable for over 500 employees. Over the years, Valve has created some of the most iconic titles of the 21st century, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. In many ways, these developments changed modern-day gaming, as they’re two of the most popular eSports games ever.
Officially, there isn’t a gaming capital of the world, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue against Washington holding such a status. From a console, PC, and smartphone standpoint, Washington is the home to leading and inspirational developers that have forever changed the outlook of gaming. In the coming years, the city is unlikely to lose its grip on the industry, even as the sector continues to evolve further.