UTRECHT, The Netherlands - June 11, 2009 - Despite the economic slowdown, the game industry is one of the few areas still growing. This is exemplified in Utrecht, where top European game development industry representatives gather to do business and network during the fifth annual NLGD Festival of Games. Over 150 companies and 1,500 professionals from the European game industry are gathering in Utrecht from June 10-12. New this year, is Pitch and Match, where potential buyers and sponsors of games, including publishers, media companies and investors are speed dating with game developers. Besides Pitch&Match, the Control Career Fair attracts many companies looking for employees.
According to Seth van der Meer, Chairman of the NLGD Foundation, which organizes the Festival of Games,“It is unique in that there is so much attention for Dutch game development talent. Although the industry is experiencing the consequences of the economical crises as well, there is still value in this market. It is exceptional that investors and publishers are focusing on Europe these days. For the first time ever, we see there are so many international investors and publishers in the Netherlands looking for talent and opportunities to close deals with game developers."
Publishers like Eidos, GameForge, Nintendo, Bigpoint, UnitedGames, Aeria Games and Jagex are searching for game developers to buy games from. Also media companies like Sanoma from Finland and Dogan TV from Turkey are present during the festival, and looking for games and game formats to broaden their media offerings.
The game industry in the Netherlands has increased ten fold since 2002 when the industry counted at most, 200 developers. In 2009, there are nearly 2000. The Netherlands also plays an important role internationally. In 2002 there were only a few Dutch companies, including Davilex and Lost Boys, developing for the big game consoles from Sony and Nintendo. In 2009, there are over 20 licensed developers. Besides that, there are over 40 developers making games for the handheld market. The Netherlands is even a frontrunner when it comes to game development on the internet, with Spil Games, Games Entertainment Europe, MMO Life and UnitedGames. Together they reach over 200 million visitors each month with their game portals and browser-based Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMO's).
According to industry veteran JP van Seventer of Dutch Game Garden, the growth has been extraordinary,“At the end of the nineties, in my time at Davilex, I had to explain to family and friends what a GameCube was. At the end of 2007 when I was responsible for the first Dutch Wii game, we were a news item. Now, two years later, even my former students release online Wii games (Swords and Soldiers). The industry has grown, not only in size, but also in maturity.”
About the Festival of Games
The Festival of Games in Utrecht is one of the largest business and academic oriented game festivals in Europe. Besides the NLGD Conference, the Festival consists of a Game Development Rally for young develop talent, the United Games Industry Party, several specialist workshops and summits and Pitch&Match, where over 50 international and national companies join. Potential buyers and sponsors of games, like publishers, mediacompanies and investers are speeddating with developers of games. Besides Pitch&Match, the Control Career Fair attracts many companies looking for employees.
More information about the NLGD Festival of Games can be found at: www.festivalofgames.org
Festival of Games, June 6-14
Game Conference, June 10-12
Pitch&Match, June 11-12