The gaming industry and esports are experiencing rapid growth in Denmark at the moment. This success is spilling over into other industries, and if the opportunity is properly backed, it can become a global position of strength.

This article is sponsored by The Danish Chamber of Commerce – one of the partners who made “Games as a Business 2021” possible.

The gaming industry is larger today than both the film and music industries globally, and with a further 20 per cent increase during the Covid-19 pandemic, the industry now represents a $155 billion market worldwide.

“It is important to bring it to light. Today, many still consider the gaming industry as a niche market, but there are several billion users globally,” says Jasmina Pless, Chief Consultant for Entrepreneurship Policy at the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

The industry is also flourishing in Denmark, which has already supplied world-leading companies to the industry. These include IO Interactive, which is behind the bestselling game Hitman, and the software company Unity, which was founded in Denmark and has experienced such success that the company is today defined as a “unicorn”: a tech company with a valuation of over a billion dollars.

Esport in the established business world

In recent years, the gaming industry has gained a fast-growing little brother in the form of esports, which has attracted millions of viewers and is still growing rapidly – with Denmark at the forefront of that growth.

Danish players are at the top of some of the major games – Dota2, League of Legends and Fifa. The Danish teams Astralis and Heroic currently claim second and third place in the world rankings in Counter-Strike. Every year, the Danish company BLAST holds one of the world’s largest tournaments with 500,000 fans watching from all over the world. This in itself creates a good branding opportunity for Denmark, but also gives the established business community new opportunities.

“YouSee, for example, uses gaming as a recruitment tool to find great IT talents. They do this, among other things, by using gaming as a perk, by making gaming facilities available and creating space for a culture where gaming is seen as a positive contribution to their work,” says Jasmina Pless.

Similarly, Copenhagen Capacity has used BLAST to attract international IT talents to Danish companies, and the IT company NNIT is recruiting gamers for their Cyber Defence Department.

“Many of the skills that gamers gain by being part of a team in Counter-Strike for example, are relevant in a cybersecurity department. Here you also have to think fast, and work as a team against a common enemy, which sits on the other side of the screen,” says Jasmina Pless.

A position of strength which requires support

Astralis has not only helped in making esports mainstream in Denmark. They have also actively helped reverse the unfortunate image of esports by emphasizing that exercise and a healthy lifestyle are crucial to being able to perform at a professional level.

In this way, gaming and esports are well on their way to becoming not only a play-at-home hobby for enthusiasts – but also an industry that creates growth far beyond its own domain.

“The established business community also benefits from new technologies that are evolving in the gaming industry. VR and AR technologies, which are known from Pokemon Go, amongst others, are used today in the construction and architecture industries. Unity’s technology, which was created to develop games, has made it possible to walk around a large construction site with AR glasses and ‘see’ the finished building and its components through the glasses,” says Jasmina Pless, who continues:

“With the phenomenal growth in esports and gaming, there is now a huge potential for Denmark to grasp with both hands. But a leading position in gaming requires the support of Danish politicians to secure funding for the development of the industry as a whole.”

This article is part of the theme “Games as a Business 2021”. You find the next part of the series right here:

Are Games Art or Cold Cash?