Italy’s game market grows to 1,600 people today and 160 game studios

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Made in Italy is taking on new which means when it comes to games. Italy’s game market grew 45% from 2018 to 2021 to more than 1,600 developers and 160 game studios, according to a survey by Italy’s game association.

The survey from the Italian Interactive Digital Entertainment Association (IIDEA) and study firm IDG Consulting was the fifth census of Italian game developers and it showed how a lot the Italian game market has prospered, even for the duration of the pandemic. The final results show the market is becoming more mature with 73% of developers now operating for more than 4 years, mentioned Thalita Malago, CEO of IIDEA, in an interview with GamesBeat.

“We have a number of consolidated companies that have been in the market for four years that recently were either acquired by international groups or were able to set up important partnerships with international companies,” Malago mentioned. “We have a group of startups with young developers who are doing very creative and innovative production. These are the two main factories why we are seeing the sector growing.”

The quantity of firms with more than €500,000 ($609,000) in revenues and more than 20 staff is expanding. A third of firms now have more than 10 staff and a fifth have more than 20. In the 2018 census, 17% had more than 10 staff and the remaining 83% have been smaller sized. Overall revenues for the market place have been $2.65 billion, up 21.9% from 2018. The general numbers for employment and studios are quite sturdy, based on study I collected back in 2017 on the worldwide video game market.

In the last two years, 35% of providers have hired new employees, and 59% mentioned they program to do so in the next two years. The sector can produce expert possibilities specially for the younger generation (79% of staff are below 36 years old) and in distinctive places with wonderful added worth in terms of specialized capabilities, such as technologies, art, and design and style, as effectively as management and assistance.

Image Credit: IIDEA/IDG Consulting

The domestic Italian market tends to make games for the international market place, which accounts for 94% of income. Europe is the major target market place with 60% of revenues, followed by North America at 25%. And firms are looking for to expand sales in Asia. The economic assistance comes from game publishers and public and bank financing. About 93% of developers use equity to finance their activities, and publishers now fund 28% of the providers, compared to 21% in 2018. Public funding accounts for 24%, compared to 6% in 2018, and banks account for 18% versus 6% in 2018. That shows expanding self-assurance in the Italian studios.

Overall, Italy has 62.3 million people today across 26.2 million households. It has 16.7 million gamers, or 38% of the population, creating it one of the top rated 10 game markets in the world. That’s a important ingredient for fueling the ranks of game developers. Overall, 1.5 million Italians work in inventive industries. About 62% of teenagers involving 11 and 14 play games on their mobile phones. And 67% of Italian gamers who play more than 4 hours a week comply with a streamer on YouTube or Twitch.

Big games

Image Credit: Milestone

Luisa Bixio, vice chair of IIDEA and CEO of racing game studio Milestone Studios, mentioned in an interview with GamesBeat that the roots of providers like Ferrari have inspired Italian game developers to focus on racing games. Ferrari has also sponsored an esports tournament for racing games that will lead to finalists racing vehicles about a physical track.

Bixio’s personal firm tends to make titles such as MotoGP 21, Hot Wheels Unleashed, Ride 4, Supercross 4, and MXGP 20. Other racing providers contain Kunos Simulazione and Raceward Studios. Big Ben Interactive acquired Raceward Studios to make racing games.

The Italian providers partnering with international providers contain Milestone, Ubisoft Milan, Storm in a Teacup, 34BigFactors, and Xplored. Many of the studios are shifting to focus on double-A and triple-A console and Computer games.

“Video games is a young industry in Italy, but there are groups of developers that are spinning off bigger companies,” mentioned Bixio. “Several companies are doing racing games. Digital growth is definitely helping.”

Horror games have completed effectively, like Storm in a Teacup, The Suicide of Rachel Foster, Close to the Sun, and Remothered: Tormented Fathers. Broken Arms Games in the United Kingdom not too long ago made Hundred Days, which was about how to handle a winery in Italy. Ubisoft Milan helped make Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, a celebrated title on the Nintendo Switch exactly where Nintendo and France’s Ubisoft collaborated. I wrote about one referred to as Last Day of June from Massimo Guarino, inventive director at Ovosonico.

“We have a great variety of genres in Italian production companies, with some special expertise in racing games and horror games,” Malago mentioned.

Pandemic impact

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Image Credit: IIDEA/IDG Consulting

As a unfavorable impact of the pandemic, providers primarily reported delays in closing contracts with publishers, investors, and partners and in project execution. For most providers, remote working had no impact or a positive impact on company, and practically 70% of them will continue to use this mode of working in the future. Like the rest of the game market worldwide, the Italian developers have show an potential to adapt to the restrictions imposed by the wellness emergency and a higher level of flexibility in the workforce, said Bixio.

About 53% reported COVID-19 did not have an effect on their operations, despite the fact that 36% reported delays in making their games. And 87% of respondents mentioned they have been optimistic about the future of the market and their firms.

The smallest studios have been used to work from home or devoid of an workplace,” mentioned Malago. “We were a little bit affected in efficiency, but we learned something new. We learned how to be more efficient.”

The government has supplied tax breaks on digital spending. The IIDEA game group is working with two government ministries: the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Economic Development. The minister of culture has announced a tax break that will cover 25% of production charges for providers with video game staff. This program has been submitted to the European Commission for approval, per European Union law. And at the starting of the year, the Ministry of Economic Development signed a decree introducing a game prototype fund, which developers can access to get 50% of their prototype creation charges covered.

1621784829 492 Italys game industry grows to 1600 people and 160 game

Image Credit: IIDEA/IDG Consulting

“This puts our developers in a better position to compete with other developers from other countries in pitching their projects to publishers and investors,” mentioned Malago.

The market is served by a couple of huge events, like Milan Games Week, which requires location in the fall and drew more than 150,000 fans in pre-pandemic instances. There is also the Italian Video Game Awards in Pisa. The latter has a company-to-company occasion exactly where developers can meet publishers and possible investors. Last year, the occasion had more than 50 providers in attendance. It also has an International Game Developers Association chapter in Turin.

Right now, neighborhood investors have not been hunting at investing in neighborhood Italian game providers, which is some thing that the census revealed.

“The role of investors is still quite limited, and this may be mainly because there isn’t deep knowledge of the sector with local investors,” mentioned Malago.

Hopefully, that will modify, as there are more than 80 distinctive game-focused investment funds all through the world.


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Image Credit: IIDEA/IDG Consulting

This year’s edition incorporates not only a quantitative survey, but also a qualitative evaluation of the Italian market, thanks to a partnership with IDG Consulting, a study and consulting firm identified internationally, with the aim of giving a full image of the possible supplied by made-in-Italy video games, specially with a view to attracting foreign investment in our nation.

The quantitative survey is based on an on line questionnaire, active from February 24 to April 1, 2021, open to Italian providers and freelancers operating in the video game development sector in Italy. A total of 160 valid responses have been recorded, a 26% improve more than the quantity of responses recorded in 2018. And 73% of respondents have been collective enterprises, 18% have been freelancers, and 9% have been other organizational types. IIDEA itself is ten years old.

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz