News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Meet 5 Video Game Makers That Call North Texas Home

The game's protagonist called the "Doom Slayer" is pictured fighting against demons and others in a hellish landscape.
iD Software / Bethesda
iD Software, founded in 1991, revolutionized standards in gaming with first-person shooter titles Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake.

Some of the most popular video games are made in Texas, and several gaming companies are headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth.

From Doom to Words With Friends, many popular games and gaming styles got their start in our corner of the Lone Star State.

Here are five of the gaming companies that call North Texas home.

iD Software (Hometown: Richardson)

iD Software was founded in 1991 and produced early side-scrolling video games like Dangerous Dave and Commander Keen.

The company revolutionized standards in gaming with first-person shooter titles Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake.

Employees of iD Software seem to enjoy living in Dallas-Fort Worth and in true Texas fashion they even have a few food and entertainment suggestions.

Playful Studios (Hometown: McKinney)

Paul Bettner created Playful Studios in 2012. They're known for the Lucky's Tale franchise of games.

Bettner and his brother also co-created the smash smartphone hit Words With Friends in 2009 which was eventually sold to Zynga for about $53 million.

Lucky's Tale originally sold as a virtual reality game exclusive to the Oculus Rift headset. Later renditions of the game made their way to other platforms like the PC, XBOX and PlayStation.

PeopleFun (Hometown: Dallas)

The folks at PeopleFun are responsible for the wildly popular 'Wordscapes' series of mobile games.

They're also known for other wordy games like 'Word Stacks' and 'Word Chums.'

PeopleFun was founded in 2011 by Tony Goodman and John Boog-Scott. Goodman is also the founder of Ensemble Studios which created the hugelypopular 'Age Of Empires' series of games.

Robot Entertainment (Hometown: Plano)

Orcs Must Die is their most notable franchise spanning a total of four games. Robot Entertainment is also known for creating the Hero Academy series of games and ReadySet Heroes.

Robot Entertainment was founded in 2009 by former team members of gaming company Ensemble Studios.

Gearbox Software (Hometown: Frisco)

Known for the popular Borderlands series of games, Gearbox is also responsible for early 2000s hits like Half-life Opposing Force and Half-Life Blue Shift.

Brothers In Arms is another popular game series created by Gearbox. It has more than 10 sequels, comic books, action figures, a documentary and a TV series is possibly in the works.

Bonus knowledge!

If you're looking to learn more about gaming and the history behind it — you're in luck!

The U.S. National Videogame Museumis based in Frisco and has a huge collection of games, video game consoles, and plenty of history to satiate anyone’s curiosity.

Got a tip? Email Justin Martin at You can follow Justin on Twitter @MisterJMart.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gifttoday. Thank you.

Justin Martin is KERA’s local host of All Things Considered, anchoring afternoon newscasts for KERA 90.1. Justin grew up in Mannheim, Germany, and avidly listened to the Voice of America and National Public Radio whenever stateside. He graduated from the American Broadcasting School, and further polished his skills with radio veteran Kris Anderson of the Mighty 690 fame, a 50,000 watt border-blaster operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Justin has worked as holiday anchor for the USA Radio Network, serving the U.S. Armed Forces Network. He’s also hosted, produced, and engineered several shows, including the Southern Gospel Jubilee on 660 KSKY.