Dutch Games Association brings the best of The Netherlands to gamescom!

Dutch Games Association (DGA) will be hosting the twelfth Country Pavilion during gamescom 2021. They’re bringing a fantastic selection of Dutch developers with them, all looking to make new connections! Read on to find out who you want to meet and why, at the Holland Pavilion!

Join the conversation at the Holland Pavilion!

There are more than 25 studios attending gamescom under the banner of the DGA! Dutch developers are keen to make connections with the local and international communities. Indeed, for many developers it might be the main attraction – if you’re looking to connect with developers you’ll find fertile ground at the Holland Pavilion!

Eric Diepeveen, Steam Data Suite COO, points out how many networking opportunities gamescom offers: “No other event provides the opportunities that gamescom provides for a start-up like Steam Data Suite. ‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of gamescom.”

That point is echoed by the creator of The Falconeer, Tomas Sala. As a busy indie dev you need to be able to focus your networking and business-to-business contacts without wasting any time, and gamescom is ideal for that. Sala says: “Being able to pitch the Falconeer straight to publishers and platform holders has been instrumental in making it both a reality and a sustainable success. Being a solo developer means that I cannot afford to rely on casual networking or continuous business development, I am dependent on focused events such as MeetToMatch to make vital connections on which the development and release of my games depend.”

Note the mention of MeetToMatch, which is another gamescom attendee enjoying support from the DGA! For them gamescom is a chance to demonstrate the value of their service and help other developers make vital contacts to help them grow. MeetToMatch helps people arrange their meetings and events, and will feature a Dutch Showcase on their platform during gamescom! As Adriaan de Jongh (co-creator of Hidden Folks) says: “gamescom is the main business event for game developers in Europe. I expect to have a busy week meeting with press, publishers, platform contacts, and players. Not often do all the big players come together; gamescom is certainly one of those few opportunities”.

Opportunities in the Dutch Games Industry

There’s a wealth of talent available in the Netherlands, fantastic projects looking for publishers, and investment opportunities are plentiful. The Dutch industry has even been starting its own initiatives to tap into the unused potential.

The Netherlands is an ideal location for game development, be it small indie studios or major AAA companies. With an exceptionally educated and motivated workforce, high living standards, and modern infrastructure, it’s a fantastic place to work. What’s more, the country occupies a prime position at the crossroads of Western Europe and Scandinavia. You can draw on game development talent from all over, and the priority given to gamescom by Dutch developers is a clear sign of the importance they attach to international connections.

There are challenges to overcome however- starting with the next generation of developers. Game dev students should be given entrepreneurial tools that will serve them well should they start a company of their own. Also, right now there’s an unfortunate lack of suitable investment vehicles, and funding opportunities apart from some trusty Dutch subsidies such as the WBSO, RVO and Stimuleringsfonds. Meaning there is a huge untapped potential ready to be unleashed, for which the Dutch industry has recently started to take action themselves.

One of these examples is The Midgame Fund, founded by Adriaan de Jongh, made headlines in March this year as more than 25 Dutch game professionals announced their plans to offer funding, advice and mentorship as a way of giving back to the Dutch games industry. One of the financiers is Rami Ismail, co-founder of legendary indie studio Vlambeer (Luftrausers, Nuclear Throne, and more).

The Breda Games City foundation is a new home-grown Dutch initiative to foster new studios. Founded in 2020 to encourage and highlight young game development talent in the Breda region of the Netherlands, their efforts are already bearing fruit with bold new studios setting up in the area.

Big international companies are already interested in what the Netherlands has to offer! Just recently, Rotterdam VR studio Vertigo Games was purchased by Koch Media for 50 million Euros. Koch Media later went on to purchase a second Dutch VR studio – Force Field VR – and merged them into Vertigo Games.

This summer, Sony acquired Dutch studio Nixxes to provide high quality in-house technical and development capabilities for PlayStation Studios. The industry veterans have worked on huge franchises including the PC version of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and several Tomb Raider titles.

Who can you meet at the Holland Pavilion this year?

Derk de Geus, chairman of the DGA says: “One of the focus points for the DGA is the international presence of the Dutch game industry. As one of the biggest trade shows in the world, gamescom is the prime candidate for these activities. With the Holland Pavilion we aim to showcase the creativity and strength of the Dutch game industry, both to business partners and (through media channels) to consumers.” 

The Holland Pavilion is made possible by Creative Holland and the RVO. Here are just a few of the exciting projects and teams you can meet when you visit the Dutch delegation at gamescom this year:

The Falconeer was nominated for a BAFTA award this year (Best Debut Game), and has attracted attention for its stunning graphics, evocative lore, and sense of place. Developer Tomas Sala will be at gamescom to seek opportunities to expand The Falconeer’s story, universe and IP beyond video games.

Prolific indie studio Rusty Lake has released over 10 games and a movie. They will be bringing their recently launched publishing label Second Maze to gamescom and latest upcoming title: The Past Within. This two player puzzle game is inspired by the basic principles of classic early escape room Flash games.

Gamious are showing off their slice-of-life adventure game Lake. Play 40-something Meredith who is taking two weeks off from her big city career to fill in for her dad delivering mail in her rustic hometown.

There are also promising (ex)student projects, like the recent and very positively rated survival game ARID from students at the Breda University, and physics party game Push Your Family by Meteor Mug that has big news to share anytime soon…

There are too many games to list them all here of course… but check out most of them in the video trailer, and the full list below.

Dutch Showcase on MeetToMatch. Get access on https://www.meettomatch.com/cologne/