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Tekwill Magazine

Moldova at Nordic Game 2018: Checkpoint Reached

Why do we play video games? To relieve our craving for three basic needs as social individuals: Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness. Three needs that are so hard to fulfil in “real life”, yet so universally desired, that the gaming industry grew into a giant with over $108 billion in revenue in 2017, expected to hit $230 billion worldwide by 2022.

The success of the industry has spawned a strong global community that includes studios, publishers, developers, artists, and gamers. The community fills the calendar each year with various gaming events all over the map. Among the most influential ones is Nordic Game which takes place yearly in the city of Malmo, Sweden. This year it happened on May 23–25, and gathered over 2000 participants, over 70 studios, from over 50 countries. One of those countries was Moldova.

Moldova delegation at Nordic Game Conference 2018

Tekwill ICT Excellence Center, in partnership with Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization (MIEPO), and with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Sweden, has gathered and led a delegation representatives from the most prolific gaming studios in the country, including Rest In Play, Demenci Softworks, Atomic Fabrik, Beeast Games, Silverina, and Spooky House Studios, but also delegates from Tekwill, MIEPO, and Creative Industries Association in Moldova (COR). The group’s main goals at the event were to promote Moldovan games and endorse Moldova as an entrepreneurial hub in the game development field.

Tekwill’s commitment to support Moldovan gaming studios

Ever since it’s opened in 2017, Tekwill has been the locomotive driving the Moldovan tech, educational, and entrepreneurial ecosystems forward. One of Tekwill’s missions is to foster the local gaming industry by supporting studios in achieving their growth and business objectives. Sending Moldovan studios to Nordic Game 2018 was one step towards that goal.

Tekwill ICT Excellence Center in Chisinau, Moldova (tekwill.md)

Studios attending the conference succeeded in building meaningful connections that open wider paths that lead to a large international pool of publishers, industry leaders, and clients.

“Often, the success of your business depends not only on creative ideas, days of work, and continuous improvement. Sometimes you need to be at the right time in the right place. We got such opportunity thanks to Tekwill, USAID, the Swedish Government, and MIEPO, who gave us a chance to take part in the Nordic Game conference.

During the event, it was very helpful for us to learn the peculiarities of the Asian game markets. Lectures on this topic were like a window into another reality. We got a glimpse through the eyes of people living on the other side of the world. We established contacts with the representatives of some Chinese Stores. This allowed us to lay the foundation for the future development in entering these markets.

Communication and meetings were the main goals of everyone at this conference. That’s where the right people from different areas were. It was an important achievement for us to meet with representatives of Google Play. This meeting helped to get an answer to an important question on one of our applications. Live communication accelerates the decision-making process and simplifies future interaction.”

— Elena Plotnikova, Marketing Officer at Spooky House Studios.

Participation at Nordic Game 2018 helped our studios to interact with games from over 50 countries. This motivated our studios to create products for a wider market and keep up with global trends.

“Games generate emotions, as well the people that create them. Seeing the games created by developers from different countries and cultures, witnessing the wide range of emotions players feel when playing these games, give a greater sense of purpose and belonging in this amazing industry. Also, the mood and setup in the venues provide opportunities to meet new and amazing people. I loved the parties and the karaoke.

When it comes to business, it’s all about focus. People moving from table to table, discussing pitches, ideas, and potential future collaborations. It was fast, it was intense, and it was personal. We received tons of feedback on [our game] Soul Stone. We learned from it. As part of the Moldovan delegation of game developers, I am proud how my colleagues represented Moldova and the potential of our gaming industry.

A big shout out to the Nordic Game organizers and volunteers. It was an honor to be part of this event.”

— Eugen Caraion, CEO at Beeast Games

Some of our delegates were looking to connect with publishers and PR firms for their games. They have achieved their goal at Nordic Game 2018.

“A couple of months ago we started developing our own products for mobile, AR, VR, PC and console. That’s great, but for every product, you need good Publishing and PR services. The Nordic Game 2018 conference was a great event to find what we were looking for. Thanks to Tekwill and MIEPO we had our stand at the conference. It gave us the opportunity to present our products and speak to publishers and PR managers from Germany, France, the UK, Korea, and Japan.

We pitched our products at around 25 meetings. At the same time, we managed to meet developers from the industry and discuss a lot of technical and creative directions. This conference was a huge opportunity to showcase our products and learn new stuff. Visiting this kind of events is important for us. It helps to get more mature and grow the right mindset for doing business in the game industry.“

— Alex Stirbu, CEO at Rest In Play

The youngest member of our delegation was Cristian Manolachi, who is 17 years old. He developed his first game when he was only 14. Tekwill believes in young talent and devotes itself to encouraging it. Exposing young developers to the international community helps them integrate early and stay ahead of the game.

“Nordic Game 2018 is the largest game conference I ever participated at. For me, it was an awesome experience from the beginning to the end. I had the possibility to meet around 100 people from companies like Amazon, Ubisoft, China Telecom, Xsolla, Maximum Games, and others. I hope Moldova will take part in more events like this!”

— Cristian Manolachi, CEO at Atomic Fabrik

Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization’s involvement and support

Over the last years, the Government of Moldova was actively engaged in developing the local IT industry. The gaming industry is no exception. This was the first time we had a Government representative at a gaming event, Mr. Anatolie Pirlii, ICT & BPO Sector Manager at MIEPO.

miepo.md

Governmental presence at the event helped in our interactions with representatives from other countries, community leaders, business development managers, and media agents.

“In addition to establishing active contacts, collecting information on the possibilities of developing this niche in Moldova and the benefits that it can bring to the national economy, I had a series of B2B meetings with people from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and iDreamsky Technology. As a result of these discussions, cooperation bridges were established for the future. We identified ways to learn from the experience of the key players in the field.

We found a speaker from Google who will come to present at Game Factory, a gaming event that will take place in Chisinau and is supported by MIEPO and Tekwill.

Representatives from Finland or Estonia shared their experience and case studies with us. The export of video and mobile game products totals over 10% of the export value for 2017 in these countries.”

— Anatolie Pirlii, ICT & BPO Sector Manager at MIEPO

The international companies attending the event were pleasantly surprised by the Moldovan Government support and proactiveness with which it undertook legal measures to develop and promote the IT sector. The IT Parks law that offers tax and other benefits to IT companies, unprecedented in the CEE region, was a popular topic of interest.

MIEPO committed itself to further monitoring the dynamics and evolution of creative industries and supporting future projects that will increase the competitiveness of this sector.

COR’s cooperation agreement with RGDA

On May 24th, the Creative Industries Association in Moldova (COR) signed a cooperation agreement with the Romanian Game Developers Association (RGDA). Both parties committed to exchanging experience and venture in joint projects in the future.

“This is the third time Moldova participated at a Nordic Game Conference, but the first time in such a big format, which brought forth fruit like never before.

I am pleased that delegates from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon showed interest in the Moldovan game dev scene. I sensed genuine curiosity in the development of the entertainment industry in Moldova. We have come to certain agreements that could bring big players to our local market sooner rather than later.

The cherry on top was the signing of a collaboration agreement with the RGDA, which opens up vast possibilities for our gaming studios.”

— Vasile Braga, Executive Director at Creative Industries Association in Moldova

Moments after the agreements between COR and RGDA was signed

Nordic Game 2018 was an important checkpoint to reach for us. But there are still many more ahead. The Moldovan gaming industry will keep taking part in the global effort of making people feel more competent, autonomous, and related. The worldwide gaming community will soon slay more dragons, accomplish more missions, and live in more magical worlds created in Moldova.

With this in mind, we are looking forward to Nordic Game 2019.

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