With its sandy beaches, rolling mountains and bustling cities, North Carolina is rich in natural beauty, culture and industry. Although its name blows cold, in fact, these lands are not that far from Florida, and the climate here is subtropical with hot summers. In winter, ski resorts await lovers of descending on a snow track and fans of snowboards.
North Carolina is one of the ten most economically developed states in the United States. It is characterized by a well-developed financial sector, agriculture, tourism and industry.
North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, is the second largest banking center in the United States of America after New York. In addition to banks, several other Fortune 500 companies are based in Charlotte: Lowe’s retail chain, Nucor, one of the leading US steel producers, energy company Duke Energy, major car dealer Sonic Automotive, etc.
The state is home to one of the largest research centers in the United States of America – Research Triangle Park, founded back in 1959 in the area of the Triangle metropolis formed by the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Dozens of organizations are engaged in research in the field of information and biotechnology here, including such well-known companies as IBM, Intel, Microsoft, BASF, Bayer, Cisco Systems, Sony Ericsson, Red Hat, Verizon and many others.
Advantages of Choosing Video Game Companies in North Carolina
The gaming industry of this region extends precisely to the cities of Research Triangle Park. The Triangle is home to a large contingent of technology companies, as well as 3 large universities. Duke, UNC and NC State are located here: they help provide game develoment studios in North Carolina with a steady stream of new talent.
This is not to say that the region is very rich in game studios – it has a slightly different technical and industrial specialization. However, a certain pool of game developers has nevertheless gathered here, and they have something to show – first of all, technological advancement.
For example, Durham houses the office of the American game developer Insomniac Games, famous for the Spyro game trilogy, the Ratchet & Clank and Resistance series of games, and the action-adventure game Spider-Man. And Red Storm Entertainment, the video game studio owned by Ubisoft, has chosen the city of Cary for its headquarters. The famous writer Tom Clancy worked here: most of the studio’s games are based on his literary works.
Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting gaming companies in North Carolina and what they have to offer you.
Universal and Narrow-Profile Gaming Companies in North Carolina
Kevuru Games is a gaming outsourcing studio with offices in the USA and Ukraine, a ten-year history and a large staff of specialists offering a full development cycle or individual gaming services. Selected services include 2D and 3D graphics and animation, programming, testing, game design, interface and sound design, and gamification services – adding a game element to a non-game environment. If necessary, the studio can port your game to other platforms or develop a game from scratch aimed at multiple platforms at once.
The studio is sharpened for games like a sirloin knife is sharpened for perfect fillet cutting: there are Unity and Unreal developers, as well as C++ and C# specialists who know all about game engines for creating entertainment products for PC and mobile devices. The team deals with both casual projects and AAA-level tasks – there is a separate department of artists involved in the creation of AAA-level graphics.
The studio’s famous case is a collaboration with Lucasfilm on 3D characters for the game Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, Kevuru Games held a large number of roadshows throughout America and managed to earn a reputation as a reliable and dedicated partner in the implementation of gaming projects of all complexities.
Grover Gaming, based in Greenville, North Carolina, has grown from a small gaming business to a company with over 250 employees dedicated to providing a variety of gaming services.
All art work and programming of the studio are 100% implemented in-house by a team of artists, sound engineers, programmers and .NET developers. The studio’s key specialization is slot games: in the portfolio, you will see more than 50 samples of such games. Bright graphics, the original design of any theme and great experience in slots make this team an excellent option if you are interested in slot art or creating slot games from scratch.
Among other gaming companies in North Carolina, Imangi Studios is notable for its small size and an initial focus on making iPhone-based fun games for the whole family. Its founders are the spouses Natalia Luckyanova and Keith Shepherd, who were later joined by the artist Kiril Tchangov. Now the studio has expanded the list of platforms to include Android and Windows Phone.
The team is known for creating the free Temple Run series for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, which has been downloaded over 1 billion times by people worldwide. This is an endless runner game where the player controls a treasure hunter who runs away from the treasure guards in a maze, trying to run as far as possible.
Hazardous Software is a consulting firm offering game and simulation development solutions. The studio creates technology that encourages people to act strategically in uncertain conditions, whether it is a game, a simulation, or a real event.
Specializing in serious games with great strategic depth or the implementation of unconventional innovations, Hazardous Software also offers services for creating and establishing game balance and advanced gamification: building a reward system, markets, game mechanics and other systems of online interaction so that people are involved and act in the right way.
Puny Human is another representative of a small game studio in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their mission is to provide players with an interesting and lasting experience in a healthy, open and versatile way.
Studio services include a full development cycle or individual programming services, art creation and logistics services to maintain order in the project, determine priorities and correctly allocate tasks and resources. Notable games from the studio are the space shooter Galacide for PC and consoles and the action game Blade Symphony for PC.
Six Wing Studios
Six Wing Studios is a small game studio located in Raleigh. Its mission is to combine the best features of wellness apps and video games to create a fun and engaging experience. This original approach works well in gamification projects, so it makes sense to turn to this studio if you are planning to create games or gaming applications with emotionally compelling, pro-social storytelling that does not skimp on interesting game mechanics.
Their famous project is Amaru: The Self-care Virtual Pet, an application designed to introduce the player to the practice of self-care with the Amaru virtual pet. Amaru helps players customize their self-care goals, including breathing exercises, mindfulness practice, exercises to increase concentration and resilience, and gratitude journaling. Players are encouraged to play the game for 15-30 minutes every day. Those who play daily can expect to master basic game content in about 2 months, which is the time it takes for new habits to become commonplace.
Mighty Rabbit Studios
Our last representative of game studios in North Carolina is Mighty Rabbit Studios, an independent game developer based in Cary. The company released its first major project, Saturday Morning RPG, on the Apple App Store in 2012. It subsequently became available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch. Their second release, the turn-based strategy RPG video game Breach & Clear, was released in 2013 for mobile, PC and PlayStation Vita. Both games were well received by critics and players alike. To date, Mighty Rabbit games have been downloaded by over 2 million players.
The team collaborated with other studios on their projects, such as working with inXile Entertainment on the RPG Wasteland 3 and the dungeon crawler The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep. Mighty Rabbit Studios has also contracted AT&T and Carnegie Learning clients for a Kinect-based crime scene investigation prototype and a 2D flash learning game to track student progress.
How to Choose the Most Reliable Partner?
The final choice is always yours. But it can be simplified by keeping a few key guidelines in mind.
Look for studios with the specialization you need. If you are interested in developing a mobile game, then your search query should include the words mobile game development – so you will see in the search results those companies that are definitely engaged in mobile development.
Look for proof of specialization or any other service. If a studio says that it makes AR/VR games, but it doesn’t have a single example of such games in its portfolio, then it is either disingenuous, or the projects that have been created are under the NDA. In this case, it makes sense to clarify whether the studio really worked with projects of the type you need.
Explore the portfolio. If you need art for your game, pay attention to the skill level of the artists of the chosen studio, presented in its portfolio. Think about whether this style, this approach, this kind of creativity suits you. If you do not find what you want and you have the appropriate financial capacity, you can try to negotiate a paid test assignment. Then it is possible to set the exact requirements and see how the artists deal with them.
And of course, read the reviews. If there are no reviews, this is not yet a reason to sound the alarm, but often studios that care about their reputation still collect feedback from previous clients so that potential ones have fewer doubts.
Any of the game studios in North Carolina we’ve reviewed are worthy of your attention. But if you don’t have time for research, long negotiations, doubts and uncertainties, then the Kevuru Games studio will be the universal choice. And there are specific reasons for this.
The peculiarity is that it is a multi-instrumentalist studio with a full range of game development services. It fully covers the cycle of creating a game from concept to release and is ready to take on both the creation of a game from scratch and any individual task related to the creation of a game.
A huge department of art specialists here harmoniously coexists with Unity and Unreal developers, game designers discuss suitable music for the game with sound designers, and testers polish the game product to shine. If necessary, the team develops a game for several platforms at once or ports it to the desired platform. And a bonus – gamification services – adding a game element to a non-game application or other digital product: the team has already implemented several projects for the trading, e-commerce and insurance sectors.
If you have specific requirements to strictly adhere to, then the team will do so in accordance with the highest gaming standards, as was the case with the Star Wars project for Lucasfilm. If you only have a vague idea and a strong desire to make a game, the team will help you to shape it into a specific authentic product, as was the case with the concepts of skins for Fortnite from Epic Games. In any case, you remain in the black – the Kevuru Games team fulfills all your requirements and invests in your project in full so that it will be remembered by your audience for a long time.