'Eugene was one of the original centers for game development in the U.S.'
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EUGENE, Ore. - A local video game developer is tripling its office space by purchasing a building downtown for $2.5 million.
Pipeworks Studio has been around for 17 years. The company has now purchased the West Broadway building where it previously leased space.
Pipeworks representatives say the company wants to be the focal point of Downtown Eugene in the future.
The City's plans to expand its fiber optic network would be a huge step forward, in the company's view.
Pipeworks Studio President Lindsay Gupton says the technology climate in Eugene is very strong right now.
"Not many people know this but Eugene was one of the original centers for game development in the U.S. back in the 80s with Dynamics," said Gupton.
Founded in Eugene, Pipeworks Studio is best known for developing the video game version of "Zumba Fitness."
New developments continue to flow in; the company says they're bursting at the seams.
"So expanding three times to 45,000 square feet gives us the opportunity to do lots of things," said Gupton.
But access to high speed Internet is essential.
"The prospect of fiber coming all the way to our building was something that made us want to take this next step in purchasing the building," said Gupton.
"The largest video game studio in the State of Oregon, who's here on Broadway Street, believes in Eugene, believes in the revitalization efforts," said Matt Sayre, director of Technology Association of Oregon. "Tech companies who came and spoke at City Council just a few weeks ago and talked about their growth is limited due to the slow Internet speeds that are in Eugene currently."
And the City is taking note.
"Moving into the 21st century fiber has become essential infrastructure same way that roads of essential infrastructure, water is essential infrastructure," said Anne Fifield, Eugene Economic Development Planner.
Fifield said the City has identified the service area, and now they're talking about how to pay for it.
"It will depend on whether or not we get the federal money. The federal money will cover a really big chunk of the expenditure," said Fifield.
If or when that money comes in, the City could start the nearly $4 million project as soon as this summer.