A birthday letter to our community – five years of SGA!

Kristina Janković Obućina,
Executive Manager, SGA
At the end of April, we celebrated five years of SGA! Together with members, partners and dear associates, we presented the things that follow, gifted awards to the dear people we wanted to thank and took a sentimental look back.

A whole decade has passed since the first generation of game developers in Serbia boldly entered the global gaming industry. Persistence, enthusiasm and hard work are responsible for the first successful games and the foundations of companies that are globally recognized today.

Five years ago, some of these pioneers joined together and founded the Serbian Games Association.

Game Up 2019

In March 2018, eight founding members presented a new project, born out of love for the industry, in front of a full hall of the Jugoslovenska Kinoteka. At that moment, we didn’t know how many people were involved in gaming, how many games, how many studios were being founded. More importantly, all the talented creatives did not know each other, so they had no one to turn to for help and support, and inspiration.

With the enormous commitment of the entire community, step by step, the events that connected us, where we met, and where you provided each other with irreplaceable help – first hand experience, began to line up. Programs were created that empowered us and, as is typical for our industry – a lot of good times and good memories were in front of us.

We didn't know how many people are involved in the industry, how many games were made, how many studios are being founded. The creators did not know each other.

Today we know some things much more precisely. We have over 2500 people creating games, more than 120 association members. About 200 games have been made in Serbia so far. New opportunities appeared in formal and informal education, we built a diverse community, attracted the attention of some of the world’s biggest players (pun intended), and shared with the world the technologies and tools that are today the standard in the industry.

What are we most proud of?

  • We united the community, strengthened our mutual ties and in these five years gained the trust of different parts of the ecosystem;
  • The SGA website is bookmarked by everyone who would like to find out or learn something about the local gaming scene;
  • All open positions in Serbian gaming companies are available on the SGA Jobs platform – and there are more and more of them each day;
  • The GAMES page lists all your great games in one place, while the SGA Blog brings you the latest industry news and tips
  • Every year we publish a comprehensive report on the state of the industry, through which we monitor the development and growth of our ecosystem, and it is closely followed by a large number of media, the business community, as well as our and your colleagues around the world;
  • We contributed to the final arrival of Google Playstore and AppStore dev accounts in Serbia;
  • We actively represent you in front of the European game dev community, through our activities in European associations and the creation of new policies that also affect our industry;
  • We participated in the creation of a new master’s program for gaming – Master 4.0, while we also continuously cooperate with faculties and informal educational centers, and help the development of new study programs;
  • The SGA Empowers program brings together girls who will soon join us in the industry, and make it stronger, more creative and more dynamic;
  • Our flagship conference For The Win! has become a new meeting place for the European gaming community where creatives, founders, decision makers and other stakeholders from all over Europe meet;
  • Playing Narratives helps young creatives learn everything about the process of working on a game, introduces them to leading experts from Serbia and Europe;
  • We actively contribute to the expansion of the talent pool and the promotion of the gaming industry as a new and promising career path for the most diverse creators – soon we will strengthen it with a new platform and a series of Shift2Games programs;
  • We lead the “supercluster” Creative Tech Serbia, which contributes to the development of not only the gaming community, but also numerous creative-tech studios and startups from adjacent industries;
  • We open the doors of the international scene, through conferences, trainings and opportunities for international co-productions;
  • With the support of big players – Epic Games, Google, Unity, Facebook, Voodoo – and many others – we worke on big events;
  • Our active Discord community has almost 1700 professionals, who are there to welcome and help future game dev stars;
  • We have had over 400 gatherings where we presented YOUR successes, and you selflessly shared your knowledge;
  • We listen carefully and follow all your needs, and we try to respond to them in the best possible way.

This is an excellent foundation, but we certainly do not plan to stop there, and new big things are already around the corner.

Ahead of us is a period in which we will dedicate ourselves to working on systemic changes and launching new strategic projects. Because, as we announced long ago in March 2018, our goal is to create the best possible conditions for creating video games in Serbia!

Thank you for your trust, inexhaustible energy and for the unforgettable first five years!

Here you can find the photos from the Celebration of the 5th SGA birthday!