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Daily Dutch News in English

Festival of Games: International visitors outnumber locals

This year’s edition of the Festival of Games will take place on 28-29 April in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The leading gaming trade show sees a major uptake in interest from abroad: More than 60% of this year’s Festival of Games participants are international visitors.

Ranging from Jordan to Korea and from Russia to Canada these participants turn the Festival of Games into the major business platform for the European games industry. The Netherlands, with its wide range of highly qualified personnel as a result of various levels of game related education and industry opportunities as a result of digital distribution are important drivers for the international interest and the high growth of the Dutch games industry.

During the Festival of Games, Deloitte will present a research report with market data on the Dutch games industry that substantiates these advantages. In addition, Newzoo presents the first results of the 2011 National Gamers Surveys. Key insights on consumer gaming behavior in Western as well as Emerging markets: number of gamers, consumer spend, type of games played and a comparison between the Western and Emerging markets such as Russia, Mexico and Brazil. With this, the Festival of Games will offer an exclusive and unique view on the games industry and its consumers.

The opening keynote of the Festival of Games Conference will be given by Al Lowe, the creator of Leisure Suit Larry, the adventure game that opened a whole new genre in the game industry during the 80s. Lowe will be joined by delegates from the top of the international games industry: Activision, LucasArts, Eidos, Endemol and Unity Technologies are just a few examples from a list of over 35 speakers. In addition, several publishers, developers, distributors and service providers are doing business at the event. For the second consecutive year, the Career Fair promises to be Europe’s biggest career event in gaming with studios such as the Dutch creator of Killzone 3, Guerrilla Games looking for new staff.

In the last five years the Dutch government has increased their support for the creative industry and the games industry in particular. These efforts contributed to the rapid growth and resulted in the interest of renowned firms such as Deloitte to engage in the recent market research. “One of the findings of the report is the positive effect of the rise in digital distribution of casual games resulting in a growth impetus. That growth has led so far to a significant increase of many relatively small development companies, in addition to some already existing larger companies that continue to develop further, “said Daan Witteveen, Managing Partner Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Deloitte.

Newzoo’s National Gamers Surveys have provided actionable market data for several years now. From the raw 2011 data it already has become clear that the average time spent on games in western markets has grown 50 to 100 percent depending on country. This growth is clearly fuelled by the expansion of mobile devices and social networks as game platforms and the large scale adaptation of the free-to-play business model of online gaming.
According to Reinout te Brake, CEO of MMO Traffic, the research results show that MMO / social gaming will achieve exponential growth in the coming years. “This is driven to a large extent by a move towards ‘free to play’, the participation of new groups of gamers, and mobile gaming. We expect that especially the latter will provide a great boost to the market in 2012.” Te Brake is pleased with the growth in the international character of the Festival of Games: “With this show The Netherlands underline their role and ambition in the worldwide market for online gaming and beyond.”

The Festival of Games takes place on April 28-29, 2011, at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht in the Netherlands. The 2010 event attracted over 2000 visitors, with 180 companies from 25 countries.

The Festival of Games is the most effective games industry event, that combines a conference, the international matchmaking event called Pitch & Match, a business Expo for trade visitors, and the largest games industry Career Fair of Europe. The Conference in 2011 is powered by and and sponsored by MMO Traffic.

With the 2011 edition entitled “Games Anywhere”, the Festival of Games will be all about how the eruption of games in every sector of the consumer market has interacted with the videogames business. The two-day Conference on April 28-29 will have a strong focus on convergence and transmedia, with the speakers AL Lowe, creator of Leisure Suit Larry, Mary Bihr, VP Marketing & Sales at LucasArts, Thomas Lee, CRO at MMO Traffic,