4 min read

Survey: The UK and Sweden remain Europe's top game dev hot spots

Today GDC Europe officials dive deeper into the results of the 4th annual European State of the Industry Survey to suss out who, exactly, Europe makes games for -- and where European devs believe the best games are being made.

Heads up, devs: To better understand the state of the European game industry ahead of GDC Europe, Game Developers Conference officials have surveyed over 800 European games industry professionals who have attended a past GDC event.

The data gathered from that survey has been compiled into the fourth annual GDC Europe State of the Industry report, and it offers both an interesting snapshot of the European game industry as it stands now and some perspective on how it has changed over the past year.

Last week we shared some highlights from the report that suggest devs are growing happier with the state of video game tax breaks in Europe, and interest in VR development is rising fast -- though PC and mobile still reign.

Today, we dive even deeper into the results of the survey to share data on who, exactly, Europe makes games for -- and where European devs believe the best games are being made.

This data was collected, organized and presented by the UBM Game Network, which also runs GDC, VRDC and GDC Europe. You can register to download the full report at the GDC Europe State of the Industry hub.

The United Kingdom is now seen to Europe's #1 game dev hot spot

To get a sense of where the hubs of Europe’s game development scene are, every year we survey European game industry professionals about where in Europe they think the best games are being made. This year, the United Kingdom was the most popular answer with 24.7 percent of the vote, followed by Sweden with 22.4 percent and Finland with 17 percent.

That’s a bit of a shift from last year’s survey, when Sweden was the top choice with 26.6 percent of the vote. The United Kingdom came in second with 22.3 percent, and Finland held down its third-place spot with 15.8 percent.

What’s interesting here is that last year many survey respondents were feeling upbeat about the United Kingdom’s game industry, as it was the top choice (with 24.5 percent) for which European country would be making the best game in 5 years’ time. This year that optimism continued, with 26.6 percent of those surveyed saying the United Kingdom would be making the best games in Europe in 5 years’ time, followed again by Sweden with 16.7 percent of the vote and Finland with 11 percent of the vote.

However, it’s important to note that this year’s survey was conducted before the people of the United Kingdom voted in a public referendum to leave the European Union, which has significantly shaken the political and economic landscape of Europe.

So who does Europe make games for?

To get a sense of what regions European developers are interested in, survey respondents were asked to choose the markets they primarily develop games for. This year 89.3 percent selected Europe and 83.6 percent said North America, but only 41.3 percent said they made games for their own country. Interest in the Asian and Latin American game markets was much lower, at 28.3 and 24.4 percent respectively.

What’s intriguing here is that while nearly all European game industry professionals surveyed said they primarily make games for Europe, far fewer said they make games for their own country. This is well in line with results from last year’s survey (the split then was 91 percent Europe, 80.4 percent North America and just 26.6 percent “own country”) and outlines how many in Europe value the broader markets of Europe and North America.

Of course, it's important to know that, when asked where in Europe they currently reside and given a list of 15 countries to choose from, 20 percent of the over 800 survey respondents said the United Kingdom, 18.2 percent said “Other” and 17 percent said Germany.

Going deeper down the list of most popular responses, 7.9 percent hailed from Sweden, 6.5 percent said they were in the Netherlands and 5.1 percent said Finland. 4 percent were from Denmark, 3.8 percent said France and 3.5 percent said Poland. Each of the remaining options (Austria, Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Russia and Spain) netted less than 3 percent of respondents.

Organized by UBM Tech Game Network, GDC Europe 2016 will be held on Monday and Tuesday, August 15th and 16th at the Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany, co-located with Europe's video game trade and public show Gamescom.

Tomorrow is the last day to register before Wednesday, July 20th, at the discounted Early Bird rate.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

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