National industry cannot support the influx of university graduates, devs say

Lack of games jobs forcing Netherlands graduates abroad

Students in the Netherlands face a tough time gaining employment in their home nation’s games industry, which is forcing them to look elsewhere, according to local developers.

Games course have sprung up in the region in the last few years as the popularity of games has spread and become an increasingly attractive career prospect.

But now, a lack of development studios and job openings in the Netherlands has meant that there are not enough graduate jobs to met demand.

“[An] interesting problem we’re facing is the amount of students graduating from game-oriented education,” Thijmen Bink, CEO and technical director at independent studio Digital Dreams told Develop.

“Since the games industry became hot four-to-five years ago, a lot of schools have jumped on the bandwagon.

Bink and his contemporaries are seeing the first students to emerge from these new courses to enter the jobs market in a sector that’s still establishing its national foothold.

“The older companies are able to support only a small percentage of these aspiring game developers; the others need to look for a job abroad, or create them themselves.”

However, some developers, such as Triumph Studios’ MD Lennart Sas, have praised the support universities in Breda and Utrecht have shown in the form of investment.

In order to generate more jobs though, the Netherlands’ games trade body has called on the government to invest in its national games industry.

“More and more the lobbying of the Dutch Games Association seems to be paying off. We are now recognised as a key growth market by our government, and we’re working together to find out ways to further unleash our potential. Comparing our sector to the film industry here is difficult; that sector is used to getting support for their productions because of the relatively small local market they’re operating in, and the cultural value they represent,” added Pim Bouman, chairman of the DGA.

Bink, Bouman and others talked at length about the issues facing the Netherlands’ games sector in a recent region focus.

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