Top North American Cities for Video Game Development

When you’re looking for a job in the game industry, the most obvious question to ask is – where are the jobs located? Which North American cities have the largest concentration of companies involved with video game development? Well, we’ve put together lists of game studios by city, and figured it would be helpful to rank those cities. Our city lists are the basis for these rankings.

Keep in mind – these rankings are only based on the number of studios in each city! We have also put together a power ranking list that takes studio size into account.

Each city also includes surrounding suburbs, so Seattle actually includes Redmond, Bellevue, etc. These lists also change frequently, so we’ll make sure to update the rankings as we add and delete companies to our lists.

Ok, on to the list. We’ve got pages for 20 cities, and they’re listed here in reverse order. As we create pages for new cities, we’ll add them to the list.

Make sure and check out our most recent video game jobs.

#24Gainesville, FL3
#23Eugene, OR4
#21tLas Vegas6
#20New Orleans7
#16tSalt Lake City10
#15Washington DC12
#12San Diego17
#09New York City29
#02Los Angeles91
#01San Francisco Bay Area113

What do you think?  Any surprises?

  • Pingback: The GameJobHunter Blog » Welcome to SilverTree Media()

  • Brandon Davis

    Great job! Thanks! We are trying to locate our new start-up(READINGMAGICGAMING) in a North American Georgraphical area that would reflect a degree of mutual industrial interface.

    Another consideration may be economic incentives that differentiate, and favor, one location from another.

  • Pingback: The GameJobHunter Blog » 6 Things to Consider When Looking for Video Game Jobs()

  • Pingback: The GameJobHunter Blog » Get to Know Your Local Game Industry()

  • Pingback: Top North American Cities for Game Development - Part 2 | The GameJobHunter Blog - Video Game Jobs()

  • christian

    man i want to be a game designer i want to meet the peoples who created games in nintendo

  • Bryy Miller

    I’m thinking of locating my company in Seattle in a few years. Do you know what 2011 looks like?

  • Paul Teall

    Page updated!

  • Paul Teall

    San Diego added to the list – in at number 11.

  • Greg

    Washington D.C. MA area (including Arlington) has Bethesda, etc.  Might me a good city to add to the list.

    Pittsburgh was starting to grow its gaming sector, a few local degree programs started and are still active, but most of the gaming industry is on the educational side, with Carnegie Mellon graduates starting up a lot of cross platform companies. Schell games works on some AAA titles/licenses.  Lots of local talent, but still lacking the big AAA companies.

  • Paul Teall

    Yeah, the D.C. area is definitely on our short list.  I think NYC is coming next, and we’ll probably look to do D.C. after that.  Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Paul Teall

    New York City has been added to the list. It bumped Dallas from the top 10.

  • David Chan

    This list is misleading IMO. Staff numbers and not studio numbers are what counts. I mean take a studio like BioWare in Edmonton with 300+ people. That’s more than 25 average indie studios combined.

  • Paul Teall

    I agree that it’s not perfect, and I’d actually like to get closer to something that reflects job count in a city.  That information has been much trickier to find, though.  Not every studio has public information about their headcount out there – we’ve had luck checking Wikipedia, Linkedin, and the actual studio sites in a lot of cases, but we’ve obviously still got gaps.  I think we’ll get better info as the headcounts get filled in over time.  I’d like to eventually have something like:

    * Large Studios (200+):  7
    * Medium Studios (51-200):  15

  • David Chan

    Even then, ranking Toronto over Montreal and Vancouver is off the mark.

  • JustinTime

    39 in Boston? and 12 in Orlando two surprises there.  Florida’s awesome.  If we could just get some more studios a little further south – I’d be sold!

  • Paul Teall

    Hmm, maybe a “power rankings” would be the best way to go.  We’d still need more complete headcount data before we could come up with a formula for determining that.

  • Bren

    You’d get different results if you did an overall head count vs. a number of studios snap shot. Many of these are likely very small studios. It would be interesting to see both measurements. 

  • Paul Teall

     Agreed. I mentioned earlier that head counts aren’t always easy to come
    by. Click on some of the city pages, and you’ll see what I mean. As we
    continue to fill out some of that info, I think we can come up with some
    other interesting lists.

  • Paul Teall

    We created a power rankings list!  Check it out – the results are different:

  • Paul Teall

    Atlanta list created – in at number 16 with 11 studios.

  • Relaya

     Montréal shouldn’t be #10, it’s by far in the top 4.

  • Paul Teall

    Did you see the power ranking list that we did?  It takes studio head count into consideration:  Montreal moved up in that list.

  • MarkC.

    hey guys.. anyone knows which area has the most number of game console/portable retail chains and distributors? Looking for suppliers actually 

  • Paul Teall

    Removed Bedlam Games from the Toronto list, which pushed Boston ahead of Chicago on this list.  No change to the Power Rankings list.

  • Paul Teall

    Added 3 studios to the Austin list, and removed 1 more.  That brought Austin to 64.

  • Snoozoons

    Hunt Valley, MD

  • Pingback: Question Block - Arcade()

  • Paul Teall

    Removed Zynga studios from Dallas, NYC and LA, which caused Montreal to move ahead of Dallas in terms of overall studio count.

  • Paul Teall

    Added Ottawa to the list – in at #18.

  • Pingback: Gay Friendly cities for geeks/gamers - City-Data Forum()

  • Pingback: The Forgotten Alpha: Chicago (vs. LA and NYC) - Page 19 - City-Data Forum()

  • Paul Teall

    Washington DC moved up to a tie for 13th after adding Citadel Studios to their list.

  • lalit kumar

    Hi, Thank you for this listing of top cities…

    see more :

  • Cummbottom

    inaccurate were is Sweden,France and Denmark? English forever nonsense this
    hot. Market for animation,digital media and gaming. EU and Southeast Asia ignored
    why? Nice try include these regions. Many firms have location mention. Cities bye.

  • Jared

    I know this is a really old article but I’ve worked in Ottawa and can name: Magmic, Arctic*Empire, Snowed In Studios, Fuel Youth, Bitheads, Rocket Owl and Smoke Labs off the top of my head which according to this list would put it at #20th place (which it isn’t, really). And that’s just off the top of my head!

    Just from a surface glance I also doubt Toronto has more studios than Montreal.

    I suspect this list is super inaccurate… Interesting numbers though.

  • Paul Teall

    Ottawa is listed at #14. You can click on any of the cities to see which studios we’re counting. The Toronto/Montreal case is interesting, and has been brought up a few times. This list is tracking overall # of studios, not size. We’ve got a separate “power rankings” list (link is up top) that factors studio size in, and Montreal far outranks Toronto in that list. Toronto has a lot of small indie studios, which is why it’s higher in this list.

  • Kate

    Is this primary research or were these numbers from a public database?

  • Paul Teall

    Hi Kate – this was research compiled by us, using a variety of sources. I tried to call out most of my sources on each of the city pages.

  • Pingback: Review: Inateck BH1001 Bluetooth headset has a magnetic personality |

  • Candace

    I am doing some research to find the number of game companies per capita for Ontario, as well as Canada-wide by province. Where did you access all of this information and do you have any links? Thanks so much!

  • Luke Murphy

    I like the fact that San-Francisco is No. 1 on this list (among other websites) the reason for that is A. It’s only 5 or 6 hours south of where I live currently B. I have always more or less had a desire to possibly in or around the bay-area since I think about age 13.

    So all of those things in-conjunction together make me wonder if it’s only providential that I eventually move down there for a career in Videogame-Development. God only knows of course.