It is a well-known fact that the video games sector has skyrocketed: since 2006 video games have overtaken box office takings but, from this year, the worldwide value of the videogame industry will equathe entire turnovers of cinema and television; in the past, global turnover has grown at a pace of 9% a year, it was 59 billion Euros in 2013 and will reach 67 billion in 2016; 120,000 people are employed by the videogame industry in the USA.
“What is emphasized less,” remarks Andrea Rocco, the director of the Genova Liguria Film Commission, “is the transformation of this industry, until recently characterized by the presence of just a handful of big names (the “bosses” of the Xbox, Nintendo, Wii consoles),which has seen a huge development of independents for whom the arrival of other platforms (smartphones, tablets, pcs) has opened up unimagined new paths. In parallel, the forceful phenomenon of the so-called “gamification” of production sectors far removed from the traditional videogame and the advent of “serious games”, has opened up promising scenarios for a huge mass of designers and developers even in areas which are not traditionally dedicated to this type of product”.
The Genova Liguria Film Commission is moving within this scenario, “imagining a virtuous and sustainable training path, the creation of business networks, facilitated funding for innovation”.
The starting point was the Dutch Game Garden in Utrecht, seen as a model on a European level, with which the Film Commission has made contact.
“For the Genova-Liguria Film Commission,” continues Rocco, “this meant opening the doors of the Creative Companies Center it manages at the head offices in Cornigliano (Genoa), to entities who want to settle down in an environment that contains all the types of talents (graphic artists, computer scientists, video makers, screenwriters) that are used in the process of game production and development. Two companies are already present, another 2-3 will be arriving by the end of the year”.
An opportunity for encounter, training, experimentation and networking has already been created: “Game Happens” , organized by Urustar and the Genova-Liguria Film Commission, with the support of Società per Cornigliano, the Dutch consulate and the Centro Liguria per la Produttività.
“This is a creative happening that took place last June at Villa Bombrini and which was attended by over 150 sector professionals from all over Italy, two of the Dutch gurus and the world of Italian sector institutions, led by the trade association, Aesvi”.
“Game Happens” was a success and will become a permanent fixture “flanked by other development initiatives from Ligurian sector businesses”, the director of the Genova Liguria Film Commission assures us.