May 13th during a special Dutch Games Association (DGA) Day, organized in collaboration with CLICKNL|Games and Dutch Game Garden, a new online platform for the games industry was launched. Together with the launch of the book gamesNL and the premier of gamesNL the movie, this day marked the beginning of a new strategy for the DGA. The aim is to develop te Dutch games industry to a European top 3 position in the following years.
During three workshops and a lively panel-discussion with members from the games industry and the Dutch government, the main question of the day: ‘How to get to a European top 3 position?’, was discussed. The Dutch games industry is a vibrant industry that consists of people with a great passion for games and gaming and belongs to the European top already on a creative level. Entrepreneurship and business knowledge are getting more and more attention and The Netherlands, as a small country, is performing well in this respect. But the ambition of the DGA is clear: we want to rise above the size of our country and be part of the European top 3. DGA Chairman Horst Streck concludes the panel with a note on collaboration: “It is only through intensive collaboration and sharing knowledge, both inside the industry and from the industry to the outside world, the governement and other sectors, that this industry can grow. The online platform support a knowledge network, collaboration and knowledge exchange. The book and the documentary are there to inform people outside the industry in Holland and abroad.”
Investments: money, knowledge and experience
Simon Usiskin (co-founder iQU): ”The Netherlands have not had a big exit within the games industry which means that private investors don’t have an interest in the sector. On the other hand, because of the success of companies like Rovio and Supercell, the Finnish games industry is seen as an exciting sector for private venture capital. Successful entrepreneurs tend to help each other and invest in each other’s start-ups and reinvest in the next generation of games start-ups and the government agency supports the private investor throughout the process. But I also have to say: the Dutch must be more ambitious and have to develop a more risk-taking culture if we are going to be one of top 3 games countries in Europe; let alone the number one!\”
Lennart Sas (Co-Owner Triumph Studios): “Because of Dutch labour laws it is not an attractive option to hire a lot of people. On top of that, our passion is to make great games, not to manage a large team.”
Michiel Sala (CEO Little Chicken): “I don’t see many people with an economical background like me coming to work in the games industry. It’s time for a special games MBA.”
How research can contribute to the support of growth for the industry
The importance of research in the process of supporting growth for the industry was addressed by Berni Good, founder of Cyberpsychologist Limited, in an inspiring keynote. She pointed out the importance of psychological knowledge about the behavior of the gamer in the development of both entertainment and applied games. Michiel Sala (CEO Little Chicken): “Scientific research is important for the development of our sector. I would like to see that researchers would conduct research on questions that are posed by companies, in stead of researchers deciding for themselves what to research.”
After de keynote and the panel-discussion, the book gamesNL was handed to Marjan Hammersma, Director General Legacy & Arts at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. After the book was officially handed to her, she also started gamesNL The Movie to conclude the day.