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WEB EXCLUSIVE Press play: The esports and game design industry is booming both here in Raleigh and beyond.
Tell your mom and dad that all those years sitting in front of a screen playing video games wasn’t a waste of time, it was career prep (seriously). Esports and game design is one of the world’s fastest growing industries (it’s projected to surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year and grow at a rate of 400% in the next seven years, to $4.28 billion, according to Data Bridge Market Research)—just look at the Olympic Virtual Series (OSV) which debuted esports competitions (think virtual regatta, auto racing, baseball and more) at the 2021 Summer Olympics for the first time ever.
And following in the Olympics steps, Raleigh’s own William Peace University just launched two new bachelor’s degree programs: Interactive Design and ESports, and Gaming Administration in an effort to help students capitalize on this growing industry. WPU has also invested in a brand-new ESports lab, which is currently under construction and expected to open this fall.
“These programs tie in well with our Believe In Peace Strategic Plan,” says WPU President Brian Ralph. “Interactive Design and ESports will add to our distinctive identity.”
According to Forbes, Raleigh is the second hottest area in the U.S. for tech jobs, evidenced by the numerous video game and esports companies that call the City of Oaks home, along with various esports events held here, including the Carolina Games Summit, where there are also college scholarships on the line.
Additionally, Epic Games (with Turnbridge Equities and Denali Properties) recently purchased the 980,000-square-foot and 87-acre Cary Towne Center, with the goal of converting the property into a new campus by 2024. So, obviously, those WPU majors couldn’t have come at a better time.
“ESports and Gaming Administration is a perfect fit for Raleigh and for WPU,” Ralph adds.
If you still think that esports are just for nerds living in their parents’ basements, you’re in for a real culture shock. So get ready for a tech takeover here in Raleigh—and beyond.
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