From August 23rd to 27th, Serbia will have its first official appearance at Gamescom, the world’s largest gaming industry fair held every summer in Cologne. Gamescom is the European “mecca” for all gaming fans, but above all those who create games that are played by millions of people around the world, within the Gamescom for Business section. It is enough to mention that last year the fair had 265.000 visitors from as many as 100 countries, 1.100 exhibitors from 53 countries and 230 million views of online content during the fair!
Alongside GDC conference in San Francisco and the Tokyo Game Show in Japan, this is one of the three key global events for this powerful industry that has, a few years ago, surpassed the total value of the film and music industries combined, and many times over. Until now, Serbian companies have visited the fair individually and sometimes exhibited at it, but what is particularly important is that this year, for the first time, Serbia has an organized presence led by the Serbian Games Association (SGA), which includes a national stand in Hall 3 and the opening countless opportunities for Serbian companies, as well as the affirmation of the Serbian gaming industry at large in a global context.
Within the SGA stand, nine companies will be presented in Cologne, as well as the activities of the SGA itself. Under the slogan THE NEW FRONTIER OF EUROPEAN GAME DEV, the focus will be on the affirmation of high-quality local talent, original games created in Serbia, as well as quality services that can be interesting to global players. Serbian companies that will be presented are Two Desperados, Art Bully, Gamebizz Consulting, Spring Onion Studio, Digital Asset Tailors, Onyx Studio, Fortuna Esports, as well as promising “indie” studios Shosha Games and Phobos.
These are companies that not only produce games, but also engage in e-sports, produce trailers, animations, characters and graphic elements for domestic and foreign clients, engage in consulting work in the fields of marketing, monetization and business development in the field of gaming, and lots more. Within the SGA stand, they will have the opportunity to present their work, hold business meetings, make new business contacts, and be part of a wider story about the growing Serbian video game industry.
Serbia’s appearance at the Gamecom fair would not have been possible without the support of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The participation of startup Phobos at Gamescom was supported by Science and Technology Park Belgrade, with the support of the Government of Switzerland through the project “Technopark Serbia 2 – Encouraging exports through the development of technology parks”, as alumni of the Raising Starts program.
This is a “historical” step of sorts, and a test of maturity for the Serbian video game development industry and related services. Serbia is already the regional leader, but has the potential to slowly but surely among the leading European gaming ecosystems. According to the SGA annual report for 2022,15 largest domestic gaming companies generated as much as 150 million euros in revenue.