Why Malta? What makes Malta a good place to start a studio?
I strongly believe that the island is a great hub for startups and tech companies in general, probably one of the best in Europe, because of an interesting combination of characteristics: English is a national language, the economic growth pace is good and tax rates are strong. Finally, it has an ongoing and fast evolution towards a country that aspire to become a leading light for digital services.
So, that’s why Malta.
What are the unique opportunities with Malta?
As I said in my previous answer, a Country with an entrepreneurial spirit that owns the knowledge and the tool to help and accelerate companies and individual professionals can only win in an historical moment where most of the European countries are swamped into a web of commerce and business laws and slowed down by the conservative and fearful approach of the political class.
In Malta politics helps to sustain and challenge entrepreneurs to experiment, risk and create distributed economy, never considering wealth and richness a threat to the citizens. This might sound odd but the feeling of many other EU Citizens is that companies and workers are considered antagonists.
How difficult is it to encourage talent to move to Malta?
In our Industry, talents flows in your companies if they can get the chance to work on amazing projects with competitive salaries and bonuses. They need friendly work environments where personal and professional growth are not only encouraged but actually helped. If you add the fact that Malta has an incredible weather, a rich historical and cultural heritage, a super safe living environment, and several other nice bonuses, you can understand the opportunity here
then you will understand we have here a very unique opportunity to attract the best people in the world that will hopefully help us write a piece of history in the video games industry.
What's next for the studio? What do you have in the works?
We have been and we are still, but not for much longer, in a sort of stealth mode while we were building a team of 30 professionals from 12 different nationalities. In the next few weeks we will complete what will be our company flagship project, a VR game that will certainly set the bar for graphic and gameplay quality in the mobile and all in one VR sector. We secured 3 license agreements for world class IPs to create three products on console, PC and VR for the gaming market within the next three years.
What have you learnt about getting a studio off the ground in Malta? Did you expect different?
The greatest variable that we did not foresee has probably been the increasing costs of living due to the unbelievable speed of the local economy. We are still and we will be in the next years more competitive than most London studios in terms of costs and sustainability but we must adapt quickly and recalibrate our profile and loss projections every fiscal year. Entrepreneurship is always challenging and sometime discouraging specially when you operate in an hit driven industry like ours but I am very confident Malta will remain in the long-term the right choice for PlayMagic.