Filmby Aarhus on the gaming industry: “We need to improve on many different parameters if we are to be competitive”

It will require a national effort if the Danish gaming industry is to permanently take an international lead, according to the business park Filmby Aarhus, which houses a creative cluster of Danish VR and gaming companies.

Filmbyen in Aarhus hosts a creative business park with over 100 companies within film, games and media. Including a number of Denmark’s most prominent game studios like Bright Star Studios, Ahoot Media and Funday Factory, who through the incubation get access to workshops, events, knowledge sharing and play-throughs.

But the local and municipal initiatives cannot stand alone if the Danish gaming industry is to truly flourish and unleash the potential that many experts have attached to it. It will require a national effort to seriously strengthen the ecosystem around the game studios, says Steen Risom, Head of Filmby Aarhus and Den Vestdanske Filmpulje.

“It’s not just about pushing one single button. Our neighbouring countries all have fully-fledged ecosystems consisting of better networking opportunities, financing solutions, education and labour. That is why we need to improve on many different parameters if we are to be competitive and improve the framework for the gaming industry in Denmark,” says Steen Risom.

In contrast to the film, television and advertising industry, where three times as many are self-taught specialists (33 percent), the gaming industry is more in demand for technically founded labour when developing new big game titles.

“It is not our job to provide the answer, but in fact to help the industry define what they need. And many of the companies are calling for the education system to be correctly constructed in relation to the demand in the market,” Steen Risom explains.

Nevertheless, Denmark is now home to a number of international mega successes such as Ghost Ship Games, Slipgate and Unity, which all accounted for a considerable part of the industry’s total turnover of DKK 2.65 billion in 2020.

That is why the potential for a new Danish leadership position is evident.

“We have companies in Denmark that can potentially go very, very far. But if we are to continuously foster international gaming successes, we need to be sharper on all aspects of the ecosystem. From education to the established game studios being motivated to reinvest in the ecosystem,” Steen Risom says.

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