Seattle, Portland, San Francisco – these are the cities that first come to mind when thinking about the game development industry. But Orlando, FL should also be on that list. Orlando is where one of the best-selling video games of all time is made - Madden NFL Football.
Orlando is home to one of the world’s top interactive entertainment software industry leaders, EA Tiburon. This content trailblazer, needs no introduction, but has produced many popular titles including Madden NFL Football and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Golf. Last year in celebration of their 20th Anniversary in Orlando, EA began a technology and design upgrade to its studio, providing more assets to their nearly 800 employees to create even more best-selling games. A gaming company this successful raises the question – “why Orlando?” The answer is simple, the talent is here.
“The type of talent located in Orlando and the ease of access to that talent is the lifeblood of our company,” said Daryl Holt Vice President and Group COO at Electronic Arts (EA Studios).
In fact, the heart of any successful game development company is its talent and that’s exactly why so many companies call Orlando home. Orlando’s top-notch talent and consistently replenishing workforce is largely attributed to the variety of colleges, universities and research centers in the area specializing in the education and training needed for the next generation of this innovative industry.
Full Sail University, well-known for its accelerated, innovative curriculum, attracts people from all over the world to work with its exceptional faculty and state-of-the-art facilities. Full Sail has been named one of the ‘Top Schools for Game Design’ for graduate and undergraduate degrees by the Princeton Review, being among the “cream of the crop” institutions from which to launch a career. Full Sail graduates have worked on big-name titles such as Destiny, Titanfall and Call of Duty.
The University of Central Florida’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) offers students the ability to work in teams of designers, artists, programmers and producers, much like in a real-world gaming company, to develop a game that they can take to market after graduation. Princeton Review ranked FIEA #2 on its list of ‘Best Graduate Game Design Programs in North America.’ And FIEA’s students live up to that honor with 16 award-winning games since its first class in 2007, and are consistently hired immediately following graduation by 127 companies including EA, Kabam and Blizzard Entertainment.
Top entertainment companies such as EA Tiburon and Iron Galaxy aren’t the only employers who benefit from Orlando’s game development talent. A myriad of companies in the Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T) industry utilize the workforce to innovate within the world of serious gaming and simulation, which is used to enhance military training.
From developing content to entertain the masses to providing our nation’s military with vital training, Orlando’s talent has what it takes to reach the next level. It’s time to pick up the controls and play the game.