A few weeks back Leaseweb visited the European edition of the Game Developer Conference in Cologne, Germany. The GDCE brings together a worldwide community of game developers and business professionals for a single purpose: To share their knowledge of all the new design, programming and marketing developments in the gaming industry. It’s the largest game development gathering in Europe of its kind, and an excellent opportunity to have get in touch with the inspiring industry leaders. Big names such as EA, Infinity Ward, Wargaming.net and NCsoft were attending, as well as lots of smaller companies.
We learned everything about popular game engines like Unity, Crytek and BigWorld, discussed ‘new’ freemium business models with investors and explored the various aspects of good community management. One thing we noticed was that the European game developers are more independent when compared to the US community. They don’t require selling triple A games to a big game studio to be successful. Instead they find more creative ways to monetize their products.
The same day GDCE ended, Gamescom began at the same location. As their website proclaims: “Gamescom is the world’s largest trade fair and event highlight for interactive games and entertainment.” Well, they weren’t exaggerating! We spent several days walking around ten halls full with consumer orientated showcases, and even got to try out some of the newest releases. Who said work couldn’t be fun?
Most of our time however was spent in the two halls dedicated to doing business with publishers, portals, payment providers, developers, localization providers and hardware suppliers. Again, we gained quite a few insights with regards to hosting online games. Here are a few things we took home with us:
• The growing game markets worldwide are Russia, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Korea and Brazil.
For a lot of non-EU companies Germany is the first entrance of entering the EU game market. Thankfully we’ve got a datacenter in Frankfurt ;-)
• European hosting providers are known in Asia for their slow response, which is of course very problematic when your business is online gaming. This is one of the barriers a hosting provider has to overcome when starting a conversation with an Asian gaming company.
• A global online trend which already took off in the hosting industry is the combination between globalization and niche market specialization. More smaller developers and publishers will appear, each focusing on a different platform and core audience around the globe.
Conventions such as GDCE and Gamescom are a great opportunity to get up to date on all the developments in the dynamic gaming world. It’s very interesting to see how the modern developer thinks about online business and as it turns out, Leaseweb is a natural match for online gaming. We’ll be sure to visit again next year, maybe we’ll see you there? In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts with us about modern game development through the comments section below. And to all online game developers: our business developers now understand better than ever how help you successfully enter the European online gaming market. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to send us an email.