While we try to keep our finger firmly on the pulse of the #BelgianGamesIndustry, it’s not always as easy to see what’s happening abroad. Good thing then that identifiying foreign business opportunities for Flemish companies is the specialty of Flanders Investment & Trade. They recently published two interesting market studies on the games industry in the US state of Georgia and Morocco.
When we think about the US games industry, we immediately drift towards the West Coast to places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Georgia couldn’t be less on our mind, yet according to a recent FIT study (link in Dutch), the Southern state is ranked seventh in terms of US games industry revenue. There’s approximately 2500 people working in over 150 game companies in Georgia and that number’s growing every year.
According to the study, the secret sauce is a combination of low costs for new companies coupled with tax breaks for media and entertainment companies, and a huge amount of quality colleges and universities (such as Georgia Institute of Technology, which counts Naughty Dog veteran Kurt Margenau among its alumni) which guarantee a wealthy talent pool. It quickly resulted in Atlanta becoming one of the top 5 US cities for startup companies, and allowed Smite developer Hi-Rez Studios to become a modest gaming powerhouse with close to 500 full-time employees.
The state of industry in Morocco is a lot less developed. After Ubisoft Casablanca closed in 2016, there’s a couple of studios and event spaces trying to fill the void. While there’s no official instance to advocate for the local games industry and little to no government support, the country is deemed very interesting for mobile game developers due to its high smartphone adoption, which makes it one of the more interesting African countries to roll out 5G. You can read more insights in the full report (link in Dutch).