Gaming Expo at SXSW showcases Austin startup companies - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Gaming Expo at SXSW showcases Austin startup companies

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Gaming has come a long way since the Super Mario Brothers!

But that doesn't mean the plumbers aren't a lasting symbol for the gaming industry. Nintendo was one of the main exhibits...showing everyone their new Wii U.

"You have a ton of other apps on Wii U. You have social apps and things that can sort of really make your living room into an entertainment hub so I think that's really exciting for the gaming industry to have something that's more entertainment focused," said Krysta Yang with Nintendo America.

South By Southwest gaming event coordinator Matthew Crump says gaming is only getting bigger.

"I think you're seeing now, gaming is definitely rising in popularity. We're now more mainstream. Gaming isn't just for guys in their basements anymore, We've got kids playing it, moms and dads are playing it, it's going to the rise of handheld devices. We have new consoles coming out that are gonna be socially connected. Gaming is everywhere this year," Crump said.

And the way games are made is changing.

"Stoic" is an independent gaming company started by a group of Austin guys that struck out on their own after working for a major gaming company. Their game "The Banner Saga" was made possible by crowd-funding site "Kickstarter,"

"We kind of went into it thinking we would get a few extra dollars to help with some animation and it kind of blew up bigger than that. We asked for $100,000 and it turned out to be we were funded to the tune of $723,000.

And Colin Blankenship with Austin Community College says their 2 year Game Development Institute actually encourages students to be their own boss and make their own games.

"With independent and having the ability to say 'Hey I've got an android phone, well alright I have a computer...build a game, get my team together, We'll just go put that on the market and see who can see it,'" Blankenship said.

Gaming is about to get a lot more competitive as well. The Playstation 4 is expected to be released later this year. And Microsoft is expected to announce their followup to the XBox 360.

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