Profiles and Interviews with Leading Animation, Design, Gaming, and Media Firms:

After eight years of writing about video games, I wanted to take the pulse of the game industry. I organized this list with the criteria for influence being: how long since a studio’s last release, how many releases they had in 2013 and 2014 combined, how many copies were sold, how many people still play their games today, what do they have coming out in the near future, how unique are their games, and how much competition from other studios do they have?

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Africa might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about animation, but it soon might be. According to Eugene Ramirez of Zimbabwe-based YouNeek Studios, South Africa has seen the emergence of some of the largest animation studios on the continent. Among them are Luma, STRIKA Entertainment, and Triggerfish Studios—Africa’s answer to DreamWorks, Disney, and Pixar, says Forbes.

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So you’re heading into the home stretch and it’s time to gain some real-world experience before you graduate. Good news. Your degree program will likely include an internship component that could easily lead you to any number of major game design or animation studios.

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Hasbro Gaming Lab is made up of a team of designers and game enthusiasts whose mission is to connect with the growing gaming community, develop and discover the next big thing in gaming, and bring “fresh experiences” to gamers of all kinds from around the globe.

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In this age of blockbuster animation and unreal CGI, it’s easy to overlook the small and midsize studios creating some of the best animation this side of your high def TV. If said studios happen to produce programming for kids, the second fiddle status is all but given… unless Toronto-based Brandon James Scott and Guru Studio has anything to say about it.

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I’ve been writing about the animation industry for nearly a decade and last year I assembled the rankings for our 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Video Game Studios and 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Animation Studios. This year, I want to create a comprehensive list of the one hundred best studios to work at across all animation industries.

To help research the constantly evolving landscape of the job market, we sent surveys to hundreds of schools asking which studios actively recruited their students as well as which studios most often employed graduates. When choosing which of the hundreds of companies to include, I also considered what projects studios were working on, and even the quality of life at those studios regardless of salary. Studios are listed in alphabetical order:

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Animation Career Review has had the great fortune of being able to interview some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people in the animation world.  Below is a list of companies, schools, and colleges that have conducted interviews to date.

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NCSoft - Career Profile January 22, 2015

NCSoft

What does it take to get a job with NCSOFT? What is it like working at NCSOFT? ACR takes a look:

About NCSOFT

Established in 1997, NCSOFT Corporation is a publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online role-playing games or MMORPGs. In addition to launching Korea’s “first highly popularized internet-based online game” titled Lineage, the company has produced popular titles such as Lineage 2, Aion, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and Blade & Soul. Lineage is NCSOFT’s flagship product. Since the development of NCSOFT’s flagship product—Lineage,  the company’s games have attracted millions of subscribers in Korea alone, plus millions more worldwide.

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A few years have passed since I wrote my Top 100 Most Influential Animation Studios of All Time list and I wanted to take the pulse of the current animation industry. I organized my studio rankings with the criteria for influence being: how many releases they had in 2013 and 2014 combined, how many people watched their new animations when they were released, how many people still watch their older animations today, what do they have coming out in the near future, how unique are their animations, and how much competition from other studios do they have?

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Kickstarter is full of extravagant claims and hyperbole, but when Toonocalypse promises that it’s “one of the most unique alien invasion movies ever made” it absolutely delivers when you scroll through its funding page. It’s an apocalypse tale that’s as big as Cloverfield but with the cartoon injected art style of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In all of my years in the art industry I’ve never seen a hybrid art project quite like this. Fans of big action movies will enjoy it and fans of old point-and-click adventure cartoon games like Toonstruck will be obsessed with it.

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