Pasco County a Hub of Creativity?

Recently the Pasco Economic Development Council, Inc. helped Artix Entertainment LLC (artixentertainment.com) consolidate their offices and move the company’s entire staff, including artists, animators, programmers, marketing and administrative personnel into a single location in Pasco County.

Adam Bohn, Artix Founder and CEO, said “We outgrew our current space and while, we did look at alternative locations throughout the Tampa Bay area and a number of high tech locations out of state, we decided to stay in central Pasco County.”

Pasco based Artix Entertainment (AE) is the epitome of creativity with an astounding fan base of over 110 million users and 35,000 Facebook “likes”.  Founded in 2003, AE is a privately-held, game development and publishing studio that specializes in creating on-line, browser-based, anime-style, role-playing Flash games. The company has 59 employees and over 100 community volunteers. Their range of online games with storylines based in the fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure genre include Adventure Quest, DragonFable, MechQuest, AdventureQuest Worlds and EpicDuel, with two more games under development for 2012.

National economist and urban theorist Richard Florida says Tampa Bay is leading the way for job growth in the creative sector.  In a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States is projected to add nearly 7 million new creative class jobs by 2020, with the Tampa Bay area’s creative jobs projected to grow by 17.2 percent according to Florida’s recent article for The Atlantic.

These high-paying, highly-skilled creative jobs make up one third of the workforce in fields like science, technology, engineering, business, law, health care, education, and of course, arts, media and entertainment. “The growth in creative class jobs is a bright spot on the employment horizon,” Florida noted. “Creative class jobs pay well, in excess of $70,000 on average.”

Several companies, in addition to Artix Entertainment, have innovative operations in Pasco County including Head of Lettuce Media (headoflettucemedia.com), OPINICUS Corporation (opinicus.com), Balloon Distractions (balloondistractions.com), The Web Channel Network (thewebchannelnetwork.com), and Web Direct Brands, Inc. (webdirectbrands.com).

“It’s exciting to see the number of creative jobs increase because of these enterprises,” said John Hagen, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “Pasco is on the cusp of becoming a hub for creative companies, and we’re ready to help other creative companies become part of the growing Pasco community.”

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