The development of advanced video games and e-learning tools is gaining presence in the Research Triangle region. The Triangle is home to the third largest concentration of videogame companies in the U.S. and also is the top cluster for videogame engine development, including as Unreal from Epic Games, Gamebryo from Emergent and the Vicious Engine from Vicious Cycle.
RTP’s expanding cluster of game-related companies along with the state's 15-percent employer tax credit on wages and compensation for digital media producers helped earn it a spot among the top-10 states in the video-gaming industry, ranked by the Entertainment Software Association.
The region’s thriving tech and research community, which includes IBM and RTI International, also supports the industry through crossover applications, an overlapping talent pool and an abundance of information technology services.
Local institutions advancing the gaming and e-learning industry
Triangle Game Initiative
The trade association has built a thriving network of companies and professionals dedicated to the advancement of the interactive entertainment industry the Research Triangle region.
Joystick Labs is working to identify the next generation of video game entrepreneurs and accelerate the development and commercial launch of their companies. The organization provides access to early-stage seed funding, mentorship, education and networking.
This investment firm offers practical guidance, access to strategic partners and investors and funding to help early stage businesses succeed.
N.C. Technology Association
The NCTA connects business and technology leaders to opportunities for continuing education, networking and other tools for professional growth. The group also works to advance public support to grow North Carolina’s tech industries. In recent years, the group’s efforts have won tax credits for emerging companies, increases in government funding for educational technology and funding for defense and security technology initiatives throughout the state.
International Game Developers Association (IGDA)
The state has an active chapter of IGDA, an international non-profit professional organization serving the video gaming industry.
Workforce & Education
Local universities and training centers with programs related to the development of video gaming and e-learning
Visual Technology Group
The group promotes the use of visualization and virtual reality technologies for improved understanding of scientific data and human cognition through education and training programs, the creation and management of visualization facilities, as well as advanced visualization research.
Duke Immersive Virtual Environment
The university’s six-sided virtual reality theater is the Southeast's only fully enclosed virtual reality environment.
N.C. State University
The university offers game-specific concentrations in both its computer science and industrial design departments.
Digital Games Research Center
The center has launched several initiatives to deepen the understanding of the art and science of game development and improve the exchange of information between researchers, educators and game development practitioners.
Mobile Gaming Research Lab
The Mobile Gaming Research Lab at N.C. State University offers courses on a variety of topics, including mobile technologies and cultures, mobile technologies and social practice, and gaming and social networks.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department of Computer Science Graphics and Image Analysis Research Group
The department is developing a wide range of technologies to create and use computer graphics, imaging and virtual environment for simulations and real-world applications.
Computational Geometry Group
This research group is working on computational geometry-related problems, including the geometric basis for visualizing time-varying volume data, geometry for molecular biology, pseudo triangulations and more.
Effective Virtual Environments Project
The project is developing technologies and techniques to make virtual environment systems more effective for real-world application. Current projects focus on advanced real-time rendering, avatar reconstruction, passive haptics, redirected walking and more.
Geometric Algorithms for Modeling, Motion, and Animation Group (GAMMA)
The research group focuses on the design and implementation of algebraic, geometric, and numeric algorithms and their applications to solid modeling, computer graphics, robotics, virtual environments, manufacturing and physically based modeling.
Office of the Future Group
This team of researchers is developing more collaborative work environments through the application of computer vision and computer graphics systems to achieve better displays and even 3D tele-immersion capabilities that allow remote participants to “meet” as if they are in the same space.
Wake Technical Community College
Simulation & Game Development Lab
The sophisticated digital gaming lab was launched in 2006, funded in part by an $850,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The lab, which is outfitted with 25 fully-loaded Alienware computers, is central to the college’s newly launched associate degree program for simulation and game development.
Funding & Incentives
North Carolina offers a generous 15-percent tax credit on compensation and wages for employees involved in digital media production or the creation of a platform or engine that runs digital media.