The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, along with new free-to-play games luring a new audience of gamers, has helped the United States video game industry to see consistent growth despite a global recession. According to the Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry grew four times faster than the American economy between 2009 and 2012.
Video game jobs have flourished across the country, growing at 9% each year since 2009, thanks in part to tax incentives in a growing number of states and more video game programming at colleges and universities. The game industry directly employs more than 42,0000 people in 36 states, a more than 30% increase since the 2009 report.
It’s not a bad gig, either. Industry employees earning an average annual compensation of up to $95,000, and total direct compensation for all workers directly employed in the video game software industry was more than $4 billion. In 2012, the game industry added $6.2 billion to the American economy.
But where is the money flowing? Here are the 10 states leading in video game development, based on total economic contribution in 2012, the most recent data available.