Reflections on Gamescom 2016

August 31, 2016

Trends from conversations with gaming industry executives.

I recently attended Gamescom 2016 in Cologne. This looks like Europe’s leading event for casual games studios and consumers, where the footfall was a staggering 345,000 visitors from 97 countries, including 30,500 trade visitors – like me!


In attending the Gamescom Congress and getting to meet quite a number of executives from games studios, large, medium and small, I noted two key trends emerging from these conversations with executives:

Trend #1 Moving to the cloud creates a talent hiring and retention challenge.

As games studios move away from standalone devices to platforms and Games-as-Service, there has been an increasing demand for hiring technical architects and backend software developers who can bring the experience of creating platform-based technologies, from banking, eCommerce and other enterprise IT environments. In cities such as London and Berlin, this means games studios competing with banks and other enterprises for this scarce tech talent. This results in high costs – and often, inhibitors to growth or timely game publishing and monetisation. This is certainly where nearshore tech talent and outsourcing to nearshore Europe gaming specialists, such as Innovecs, can fix this problem.

Trend #2 Virtual Reality is moving from hype to reality!

What seems clear now, is that leading games studios are starting to accelerate the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in their new titles. This is driven by a fear of losing younger audiences, who expect VR to be an inherent part of a gaming experience. VR is also increasing the convergence between consumer and business: as ‘serious gaming’ takes off and the ‘gamification’ of enterprise software becomes increasingly important. Again, it is the VR thought leaders who are scarce in hot tech urban environments, such as London or Berlin, and again, where nearshore Europe gaming experts have an important role to play in the timely introduction of VR to gaming.

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