Recent statistics have revealed that there are 3,552 Video Games Software Developer businesses in the US as of 2023, which is an increase of 4.9% from 2022. With the industry evidently growing, and America being home to some of the biggest game developers in the industry, it begs the question, which US state is the best for working in game development?
With this in mind, Slot Tracker wanted to find out which states in the US offer the best opportunities for current and aspiring game developers. To do so, they looked into factors such as software development employment per 1,000 jobs, software development annual mean wage, average internet speed, and the number of job postings in each state.
Washington ranks as the best state to be a game developer, with one of the highest annual mean wages, $145,150, and the highest employment rate per 1,000 jobs, at 25.4.
Massachusetts ranks as the second-best state to be a game developer.
California ranks as the third best state to work in game development, and has the highest count of job postings, at 1,714.
The top 10 US states to be a game developer:
Slot Tracker has found that Washington is the best state to work in game development, with an ultimate game developer state score of 9.50/10. Washington was found to have one of the highest annual mean wages, $145,150, and the highest employment rate per 1,000 jobs, at 25.4. Seattle is the largest city in Washington state and is home to some of the biggest gaming companies in the industry, such as Microsoft and Nintendo. The gaming scene here has previously been described as the Hollywood of video games.
Massachusetts ranks second, with a score of 9.04/10. The state is home to around 80 game developer studios, ranging from indie developers to bigger developers such as WB Games Boston and Rockstar New England Inc. WB Games Boston is best known for Dungeons and Dragons Online, and The Lord of the Rings Online, whilst Rockstar New England Inc are responsible for the development of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption. Massachusetts was found to have the third highest employment rate per 1,000, at 17.4.
Ranking third is California, with a score of 8.88/10. The state has the highest count of job postings out of all states analysed, with 1,714 postings. Los Angeles, California, is home to some well-known game development companies, such as Naughty Dog and Electronic Arts (EA). Naughty Dog are known for creating some of the biggest games of the last decade, such as The Last of Us, and the Uncharted series, whilst EA are one of the most well-known gaming studios, having produced games such as FIFA and Battlefield.
In fourth place is Maryland, with an ultimate game developer state score of 8.62/10. Maryland was found to have the highest internet speed of all states analysed, at 196.2 mbps. 2K sports, the makers of PGA Tour 2k23 and NBA 2K23, have an office in Maryland and are one of EA sport’s main competitors.
Virginia ranks in fifth, with an ultimate game developer state score of 8.54/10. Virginia has the second-highest average internet speed, 193.1 mbps. Virginia is home to City State Entertainment, founded in 2011 with a focus on role-playing video games (RPGs). They have produced games such as Final Stand: Ragnarök.