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Maryland—The East Coast Hub of the Gaming Industry

light bulbMaryland is considered by some to be the East Coast hub of the gaming and simulation industry. According to Maryland Interactive Technologies, "Already Maryland boasts the largest cluster of entertainment software companies on the East Coast." 

According to the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, "the game development and digital media industry contributes $15 billion in economic activity in Maryland each year."

In addition, an industry survey by Game Developer Magazine  found that Maryland is the number one East Coast state for game developers!
Read more about the Game/Simulation Industry in Maryland.

See the map below -- the orange circles are local MD game and simulation companies and organizations. (Map created by MD Board of Economic Development -- click the map for the full PDF list. Please note that this is not an up to date list - it is from 2006, and many newer developers have joined the local game industry.)

MD Game and Simulation Companies

md game companies 2 Salaries by state

According to the University of Baltimore, "Even in a slow information economy this number is expected to increase by about ten percent annually. As defense planning and industrial training integrates more simulation technologies, hundreds of new jobs will be created in the field."

Maryland's economic development officials have targeted the interactive technology industry as "a business sector on the rise." Maryland Secretary of Business and Economic Development, David Iannucci explains, "The technology that brings these games to life is also being used for virtual training in medical, defense, consequence management and other simulation programs."

From entertainment games to so-called "serious games" (games used for simulation or training), Maryland has a significant presence in this new technology industry.

On the East Cost, Maryland has the highest game developer salaries! (Source of image above: Read about how much entry level game developers make. And the game industry salary survey.

The ESA has statistics on some of the entertainment game companies in Maryland (remember that this data doesn't include the large field of simulations and "serious games") and around the US.  The GameDevMap also has a partial list of game companies around the world.

The text below is quoted from an newsletter published by the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development on 7/27/2010:

Study Shows Economic Impact of Game Development and Digital Media Industry

A new study reveals that the game development and digital media industry contributes $15 billion in economic activity in Maryland each year, adding over $1 billion to State and local government revenue in fiscal year 2008 alone. Baltimore County is home to one of the nation's leading clusters of computer and video game companies.  The new research report, produced by Sage Policy Group for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, included these key findings:

  • Digital media is $5.6 billion industry in Maryland. Once the multiplier effect is considered, the industry is associated with $15 billion in economic activity in Maryland each year.
  • In fiscal year 2008, Maryland's digital media industry contributed more than $1 billion to State and local government in tax revenue.
  • Industry employment in Maryland has expanded in every year since 2005, topping 32,167 in 2008.
  • In 2008, average annual pay in Maryland's digital media industry exceeded $100,000 rising 26 percent from its 2003 levels at a time when wages increased 16 percent nationally.

"Baltimore County's game development community is recognized around the world as creating some of the best-selling games of all time," said Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith. "We value their economic impact as and their contributions to the dynamism of our creative class."

Since gaming legend Sid Meier co-founded MicroProse in Hunt Valley in 1982, the game development industry has flourished in Baltimore County. Companies include Firaxis Games, Big Huge Games, ZeniMax Online, Day 1 Studios, Zynga East, e4e, and Digital Steamworks. Companies such as BreakAway and Training Port Strategies use game technology for so-called "serious games" applications including military, emergency management and medical training, and K-12 classroom education.

For more info, contact David S. Iannucci, Executive Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic Development,

Game-Related Companies in Maryland

(Please note that the lists below are not up to date, and many newer developers have joined the local game industry)

• AAI Corporation
• Absolute Quality
• Aeon Electronic
Entertainment, Inc.
• Anvil Studio
• Anthrotronix
• AT Kid Systems
• Artistech, Inc
• Atari/Infogrames
• Avantium Technologies
• Bean Creative (Flash games)
• The Berndt Group
Bethesda Softworks
• Big Huge Games
• Blue Omega
• BreakAway Games
• Claymore Audio
• Cryophyte Entertainment
• Day 1 Studios
• Digital Magnet
• Digital Velocity, LLC
• Discovery Communications, Inc.
• DMK Art
• EelTail Interactive
• Epic Games (started in Rockville, now in NC)
• eBrainyGames
• EyeMaginations
• Firaxis Games
• Five Forks
• Gene Logic
• Genex Technologies
• Gentle Revolution Software
• GhostLight Collective
• GMA Industries, Inc
• GSE Systems, Inc.
• Heatherstone Digital Solutions
• Immersion Medical
• Intense Entertainment Interactive
• Interact Accessories
• Juxtopia
• Leaping Lizard Software
• Legendary Studios
• MDLogix
• Meyer/Glass Interactive
• Micro Focus
• Microprose

• Nemetschek N.A. Inc
• OpenPath Products
• OPNET Technologies, Inc.
• Powergrid Fitness
• RandomSoft
• Red Aphid
• Shadow Realm Games
• Skye Boat Games
• Strategic Solutions Group, Inc.
• Talonsoft
• Take One Digital Media Works
• Vertis Inc.
• Vir2L Studios
• Vision Videogames
• Will Interactive
Zenimax Media
Zenimax Online Studios

Game-Related Companies in Virginia

• Antic Games, Inc.
• Nikan Hills Media
(formerly CyPR Media)
• Dynamic Animation
Systems, Inc. (DAS)
• Fourth Wave
• GameDogma
• Health Management Consultants of VA
• Infinite Ventures, Inc.
• Mythic
• My3D
• Qwato Interactive Studios
• Paradigm Interactive
• Qove Studios
• SimVentions
• SouthPeak Interactive

Game-Related Companies in Washington, DC


A Few of the Many Games Made in Maryland and Virginia

• Airport Tycoon
• Axis & Allies
• The Battleground Series
• Battleship
• Bridging the Divide
(to teach players about International debt relief)
• The Campaign Series
• Cleopatra: The Official
Pharaoh Expansion
• Dark Age of Camelot (VA)
• Diplomacy
• Eurofighter Typhoon
• Green Berets
• Hidden & Dangerous
• Mafia
• Morrowind
• Oblivion, Skyrim
• Operational Art of War
• Railroad Tycoon
• Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
• Sid Meier's Civilization I, II, III
• Sid Meier's Civil War Collection
• Sid Meier's SimGolf
• Silent Hunter
• Space Station: SIM
• Tropico: Trouble in Paradise
• Unreal (Epic was once located in Rockville, MD)
• Villiany, Inc (Web game)
• Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle


“Sid Meier’s Civilization” and “SimGolf,” developed by Firaxis, and “Rise of Nations” by Big Huge Games, are among the best-selling titles in a world where virtual reality and simulation generate a seemingly unreal $10 billion in annual sales. Both Firaxis and Big Huge Games are headquartered in gaming-rich Hunt Valley and are among some 20 gaming-related companies that quietly have made Maryland the new frontier for gaming development."  -- The Daily Record

"Local high school students who fantasize about getting a job playing video games might not be too far off the mark. Baltimore County boasts the largest concentration of video game and simulator technology firms on the East Coast, and local schools are working to put their students at the head of the line for employment in this emerging new field."

"We are working with the schools and with employers to make sure our students are prepared for the workplace of today and tomorrow," said County Executive Jim Smith. The county's Department of Economic Development is collaborating with industry insiders, schools, and state agencies to develop academic programs that prepare area students for employment in the county's burgeoning game and simulator development industry." -- Baltimore County News

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