Monday, 11 November 2019 09:20

Prosperity to the region through game industry

Written by  "Cohesion through EUSBSR" project

”The game industry is the most dynamic creative industry worldwide with an exponential growth rate.” The statement above, found on the website of the Baltic Game Industry project, fits well the mindset of the Baltic Sea Region that scores high in innovation rankings and is known for its experimental attitude.

But is this just an image or can the Baltic Sea region consider itself as forerunner in the game industry? What kind of obstacles does the industry face?

 

What is the state of game industry in the Baltic Sea region?

When it comes to the Baltic Sea region countries, it is the Nordics that are currently the most developed and succeeded in game development. However, there is potential in the whole region to reach the same level.

But why in the Baltic Sea region? What is so special about it compared to, for example, Southern Europe? “The weather”, says Christne Sauter, Project Manager of Baltic Game Industry. Long, dark winters make people stay more indoors and be more prone to play games, she continues. Not quite the answer we may have expected about the innovative spirit of the region, but at least there is something positive with our never-ending winters!

 

 

Are games art or business?

Growing game industry means investments and prosperity to the region, but to reach its full potential the current mindset needs to change: despite the growth and investments, game industry’s image is not always favorable and it is not taken seriously. “There is a lack of appreciation games as a business”, explains Christine. And this is where Baltic Game Industry steps in: to raise awareness of the potential of the industry and to communicate with public authorities.

When raising awareness of the game industry, it is good to point out that it is not just about industry but a lot has to do with education. Our society is becoming more and more technological, and IT-skills are needed, also in game development. Schools and education systems need to adjust to this, for example, by starting to teach game design in early stages.

Sometimes instead of communicating outside we need to communicate within: “At the moment, game developers see themselves as artists not entrepreneurs. And games are funded like art, not like business. The Baltic Game Industry project addresses this in its activities: how game developers can find ways to sell themselves as entrepreneurs, not just artists, and how to develop a better understanding of entrepreneurship in the game industry.” 

 

 

 

 

Change of mindset is needed

“The project is waking people up”, tells Christine. To change mindsets and ways of working takes time, but we can already see some results. And without someone shaking the old ways of seeing and doing, the gap between game industry and public authorities would remain, or closing it would be even slower.

The saying “be the change you want to see” rings very true when the project manager explains how it is to work with game developers: “I love the game industry! Working with developers is very easy. They are all about sharing ideas and communicating with each other. They have this new spirit that can change the working environment in general.” Fostering this kind of attitude, no matter the field of work, could definitely bring success to the region!

While talking with Christine the words “changing the mindset” popped up many times. Could the work carried out in the project give a glimpse of the region’s future? “I hope so”, she says. She predicts that in 10 years, game design will be a school subject, and when generation changes, parents are more and more familiar with games, and how to use them in the best possible way.

 

Baltic Game Industry in a nutshell:

  • Fosters innovation power and the emergence of a powerful game business scene around the Baltic Sea
  • Strengthens cooperation across stakeholders and countries
  • Makes the region a game business hotspot with a joint branding.
  • Partnership consists of 22 full partners and 25 associates from the eight Baltic Sea region countries
  • Funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme
  • An EUSBSR Flagship project under Policy Area “Culture” 

 

 

The article is part of an European Union funded project "Cohesion through EUSBSR" promoting positive results of EU Cohesion policy in the Baltic Sea macro-region (EUSBSR). 

The article reflects only the author's view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains. 

 

With financial support from the European Union

 

 

 

        

 

 

Read 466 times Last modified on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 08:29

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