The European Games Developer Federation has released the results of an opt-in survey about the impact of COVID-19 among game studios and the Belgian numbers don’t paint a pretty picture. While it’s hardly surprising that the pandemic is having an impact on the business of our local studios, it’s even more worrisome that a significant part of the Belgian sample size is expecting a grimmer future than their European counterparts.
Note: if you want to compare Belgian results with European results of this survey, check out the neat infographic EGDF compiled and published on their website. A more elaborate analysis of the entire survey can be found here.
We should first point out that the timing of this survey could be perceived as a bit too close to the “lockdown” in our country and that eighty percent of respondents are companies boasting less than 10 collaborators.
Three out of four Belgian game studios polled in this survey, experience a serious impact of COVID-19 on their business without specific reasons being asked for.
Fourty percent of studios mention there’s a lot of uncertainty which results in potential delays of projects and business deals. One in five studios say they have been downscaling already and are at risk of shutting down completely, although it is unclear if this downturn can be solely attributed to the corona crisis.
About half of participating Belgian studios say they’ll be able to keep the lights on for six months or longer under the current circumstances. Thirty percent fears the survival of their business is in jeopardy if the current situation goes on for longer than three months.
This seems like a good time to remind our studios that there’s already a host of support measures in place. You can easily find the latest updates in our CORONA menu tab. On top of that, please let us know if your business or projects are in trouble, so we can gather enough data in order to try and unlock more supportive measures for our industry.
A lot of European game developers cite the cancellation of major industry events such as GDC has led to problems with finding investors or negotiating publishing deals. Nine out of ten Belgian developers saw their negotiation plans cancelled or delayed, with only one studio reporting their planned talks going ahead uninterrupted.
Based on the feedback of this survey and hoping to jump start some of these business deals again in order to support European game developers during the worldwide crisis, the EGDF and partners have announced the European Games BizDev Gathering (May 13-14). Using MeetToMatch, European developers will get to set up online meetings with publishers and investors from around the world. We strongly encourage our members to participate. Registrations will open on April 15.
The EGDF wouldn’t have been able to get this data without your valuable input. We’re extremely happy to report Belgium was among the top countries to participate, so we’d like to sign off today by thanking our amazing community of local developers for their worthwile efforts, even in times of crisis. Thank you and stay safe!