|The old Dynamix
location and the current GarageGames building are less than
two miles apart. (Source: Google
|A much larger version of the map showing
the locations of Dynamix and GarageGames and the streets in
Jeff Tunnell says he started Dynamix and GarageGames
in Eugene for a simple reason: “I like living here.” While he admits
Eugene likely holds more disadvantages than advantages for a video
games company, he wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
“I never wanted to work for a big company or live in a big city. Eugene is just the right size,” he says.
Although Tunnell describes Eugene as a “one-way street” for talented
employees, he says it has some advantages. For instance, there is
a much lower cost of living than in places such as the San Francisco
Bay Area, which is packed with software companies. Tunnell says
people looking for a less-stressful hometown could enjoy financial
benefits from selling their assets from costlier areas and moving
GarageGames isn’t even an anomaly—two other entertainment companies make their
home in Eugene: Pipeworks Software and Buzz Monkey Software.
A small geographic scale is one reason Joe Maruschak enjoys Eugene. From his home in the South Hills, it takes him just 12 minutes to reach work. He contrasts this with life in a major metropolis where he might spend a few hours a day in commute.
Employees see Eugene as a good place to raise a family, and, judging
by GarageGames’ success, a video games company
can do all right too.