Nashville, Tennessee is home to a number of sports and entertainment icons. Nicknamed “Music City,” it’s where you can find the Country Music Hall of Fame. Some of the most recognizable sounds in country music come from the area and have been dubbed as part of the “Nashville Sound.” Ever heard of Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson?
Two very prominent sports teams also call Nashville home: the Nashville Predators (NHL hockey team) and the Tennessee Titans (NFL football team). Now, it looks like Nashville is quickly becoming home to a promising gaming community too.
We’re not just talking about gamers, but game developers as well. In fact, there’s now a number of independent game developing companies that have set up shop in Nashville and the surrounding areas. They’re also starting to make a name for themselves and building great reputations within the gaming community:
This indie video game studio was founded in 2015, with a team made up of veteran game makers. Traega boasts a lineup of creators with decades of industry experience from industry giants like Blizzard, EA, Microsoft, and Disney under their belts.
AppZoro Technologies Inc.
Originally from Atlanta, AppZoro expanded their operations and decided to open an office in Nashville. They focus on mobile app development and web solutions, allowing people to bring their ideas to life.
A short few minutes’ drive from Nashville, in Smyrna, is Bencin Studios. This indie game studio focuses on creating mobile games on both iOS and Android. They don’t just help their clients design and build the games, they also help publish and monetize these game apps.
These companies are just further proof of how the industry and the indie gaming community has been on a steady rise in Tennessee. From independent modders letting us farm in The Sims 4 to creating entirely new games out of data from existing games (like Enderal: Forgotten Stories), there’s always something new and exciting to look forward to within the community.
Of course, we’re still in the process of establishing a rock-solid gaming economy in the state and gaming companies here aren’t exactly making gigantic games like GTA V just yet, but they’re certainly making significant headway, all because of these:
Great community support for game developers
Undoubtedly, there’s a strong creative energy surrounding Nashville. A number of country music hits have hailed from the area, and there’s currently a booming arts community now, too. And having a real community for both creators and artists sets Nashville apart from other areas.
Developing a game involves more than just a programmer typing in lines of codes. It actually involves an entire team of UX/UI designers, graphic artists, and testers. And there’s no shortage of creative professionals in Nashville, making it a great place to develop ideas and actually getting to test them out. There are also non-profit organizations like the Nashville Game Developers where the community bands together to help the local gaming community thrive.
Excellent government support for new businesses
The Nashville area also has a fast-growing economy, with over 18 Fortune 1000 companies. Even today, you’ll see a lot of new businesses cropping up everywhere. One of the contributing factors is that forming a Tennessee LLC is so easy to do, it’s essentially just a simple 5-step process. All you need to do is name your business, appoint a certified agent for state correspondence, file a Tennessee Articles of Organization, create an Operating Agreement, and apply for an EIN. Do those and then you can already get your business up and running.
Additionally, the state also has a public-private partnership with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development called Launch Tennessee, which helps support high-growth companies. The project provides startup resources to entrepreneurs, including capital sources, mentorship, and even entrepreneurship training.
Active gaming community
A strong and active gaming community acts as an incubator for great games. Game developers find themselves being able to volley ideas with and hear constructive feedback about projects from others who are also well-versed in gaming.
The gaming community in the area fosters discussions on everything related to gaming through Reddit threads and Facebook communities, especially now that we’re still sheltering from home. These online forums are microcosms of gamers in the larger community, which is a unique and amazing thing. You’ll have creators talking to gamers—with varying gameplay preferences and experiences—and game enthusiasts speaking with game concept developers. It’s such an enriching experience for all parties involved, and it’s a community that’s constantly growing, especially since gaming has gained even more popularity during the course of the pandemic.
We’re approaching a time where Nashville may become more than just “Music City” with great sports teams. The growing gaming community in the area makes the industry one to watch. There are a lot of fresh ideas and undeniable talent in the Nashville gaming industry, so stick around and see these rising stars reach their potential!