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/

We are thrilled to announce that we have been working with the Game Tech team at Amazon Web Services to explore ideas and programs that can help our members build, grow and run their games. One outcome of this collaboration is that we are now an AWS Activate provider. Their team works with game developers of all shapes and sizes, building all types of games and understand the struggle developers can have managing costs whilst the game isn’t yet launched.

The AWS Activate Program provides eligible developers with the resources they need to quickly get started on their journey to the cloud – including credits, training, and support.

All of this means that DGA members can now benefit from the AWS Activate Program which includes:

  • Promotional credits for AWS services – valid for 2 years
  • Business Support Credits which give you access to 24/7 technical support – valid for 1 year
  • Credits for online training on AWS that you can take at your own pace
  • Access to AWS Game Tech teams in the UK for technical or go-to-market advice – on request
  • No commitments or strings attached.

For more details on the exact details and how to make use of these credits, please send an email to contact@dutchgamesassociation.nl.

Not a member yet? Join the Dutch Games Association via this link: https://dutchgamesassociation.nl/become-a-member/

The PEGI team is organizing two webinars that aim to clarify how the PEGI age rating system intersects with game developers’ and publishers’ daily activities and long term strategy.

If you publish games on the platforms of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Google, Origin, Stadia or Oculus, you are already using PEGI age ratings for your European audience. But how do governments look at PEGI and what do they expect from the industry in terms of self-regulation?

  • Thursday 10 June, at 2 pm CET: Why does the industry have PEGI?
    This first webinar PEGI focuses on how PEGI deals with the regulatory requirements for minor protection in Europe and how that brings added value for everyone in the industry, whether you are an ambitious self-publishing mobile developer or work for one of the giants in the industry. 
We look at the relationship between PEGI and a game’s content, but also the relationships with advertising, with esports, with local regulation, with retail, etc.
  • Thursday 17 June at 2 pm CET: PEGI Labelling and Advertising Guidelines
    The second session zooms in on PR & Marketing topics, with a particular focus on the PEGI Labelling and Advertising Guidelines.

Each session will last an hour, including time for Q&A.

PEGI will be repeating these sessions a few times this year, but for the webinars in June they are teaming up with a number of trade associations including us, the Dutch Games Association, which is why all our members are invited. The next set of sessions is planned for September 16 and 23 at 2pm CET so if you cannot make the sessions in June, please feel free to join them then.

If you or any of your team members would like to attend, please send an email to contact@dutchgamesassociation.nl. We will then send you the registration link. After registration, PEGI will be in touch with more details.

We are very happy to announce that we have partnered up with Indigo! Indigo is the leading game business and showcase event in The Netherlands, which will be held on June 25th as a hybrid event. Indigo is organized by the Dutch Game Garden (DGG), a game incubator and business center located in Utrecht.

Join Indigo to find your next business opportunity, listen to inspiring and practical talks, and play the best games and connect with its developers. Find all the info here!

Members of the Dutch Games Association get a 10% discount off their Indigo ticket. Keep an eye on your inbox, the next newsletter will have the link to purchase a discounted ticket. Stay tuned!