Serbian gaming community in one place – SGA Assemble

The annual informal gathering of the SGA community (members, partners and friends), which traditionally marks the beginning of our new program season, was held for the second time this year, and was attended by over 300 guests from the entire gaming ecosystem.

This year’s gathering was of particular importance precisely because there were so many new updates that needed to be presented: on the one hand, numerous activities that are behind us, but also an even greater number of plans for the next year.

The meeting was once again hosted by Playstudios Europe, one of the prominent members of SGA and currently the fastest growing gaming company on the Serbian market. And they had something to brag about, namely the new business premises in the Beogradjanka building. For the needs of our gathering, the sixth floor was ideal, with a spacious terrace and an excellent view of the entire center of the capital.

While we mingled with the inevitable music selection of GTA radio stations, we played the latest trailers for SGA members’ games on the screens, as well as videos from our numerous programs held during the last 12 months, and the atmosphere was additionally heated by the Dogma brewery, the Todorović winery and the Kultura Bar.

For the needs of the “formal” part of the program, we used the well-equipped event hall at Playstudios, which was filled to capacity by all our guests, which once again showed that they are truly interested in what is happening in the local gaming community. Nikola Mitić, general manager of Playstudios Europe and Marija Ilić, president of the board of directors of SGA, spoke briefly to those present.

Maria highlighted the tremendous growth that SGA has undergone over the past year, which she perhaps best illustrated by introducing our team. New colleagues who joined us just before the summer are Isidora Veljković in the position of project coordinator and Nenad Jovanovski as project manager. Together with Maša Đurić (social media and comms manager), Relja Bobić (program director) and Kristina Janković Obućina (executive manager), this is now a five-member SGA executive team that will be in charge of all our activities.

Through a short presentation, Relja and Kristina offered an overview of all the most important things that have already happened since the beginning of the year, but what is even more important, everything that awaits us in the coming period.

What delighted those present was a special premiere. Exactly one year ago, at this same event, a completely new SGA website was presented, which over the past year has grown into a kind of portal for everything related to the production of video games in Serbia and beyond. This year, we published a completely new page within the site, bearing in mind the reactions of those present, and during the following days, the media all over the country – the page that was missing and was long awaited. On the SGA website, you can now view and browse almost all games published by local companies! There are currently over 160 of them, and the database is updated regularly. A really big step for the popularization of Serbian games, which were downloaded or purchased over 370 million times in 2021!

In addition to numerous other information and announcements, the emphasis was also on our central project until next summer – the pilot supercluster Creative Tech Serbia, and the activities that will be realized within it. It is one of the four Serbian superclusters piloting their programs through the Serbia Innovates project, which is run by the ICT Hub with the support of USAID. You can follow everything that is planned as part of this unique initiative on our website and through the SGA newsletter during the coming months: mentoring programs, visits to international conferences, connections with academic institutions, events, academies dedicated to the production, soft skills and gamification, exhibitions, new and old conference programs, advocacy activities and cooperation with other industries – to mention only some of the more important points.

However, even this part of the story did not pass without at least one bombastic announcement. Namely, bearing in mind all the planned activities and ongoing partnerships, the SGA Board of Directors made a decision that already next year, Serbia and SGA will officially perform at the largest European fair and conference dedicated to game development – Gamescom in Cologne! Which means not only that we will have representatives at this biggest gaming fair in this part of the world, but also a national booth and an opportunity to present the impressive growth of the Serbian gaming industry.

There is only one thing we can say at the end of such a beautiful and meaningful meeting, and what was written at the very end of the SGA presentation: 2023 – here we come!