According to a report in the Phoenix Business Journal, the entertainment software industry added about $60 million to Arizona’s economy in 2009.
Moreover, the sector has grown by an annual rate of more than 22 percent since 2005 as the state’s economy overall suffered, according to the study “Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2010 Report” by the trade group Entertainment Software Association.
It’s good to have the creativity and technological innovation that comes with such ventures on our doorstep, but even the video game industry here has taken a beating: Mesa-based Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment had a potentially lucrative license from MGM to develop the studio’s popular Stargate franchise into computer games, but ended up filing for bankruptcy and firing its CEO earlier this year. (Now even MGM Studios itself is battling for its very life, with properties like Stargate, The Hobbit and James Bond 007 potentially left to twist in the wind – but that’s another story)
The game Cheyenne had worked for nearly four years to produce, the online roleplaying game Stargate Worlds, never materialized, but the publisher did rush out a third-person action game in February, barely a week before it sought Chapter 11 protection. That game, Stargate Resistance, remains in circulation with occasional updates under the banner of Dark Comet Games LLC, a company comprising its original developers.
It’s just one example of the brutal beating companies everywhere have taken during the recession, but the game goes on.