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Sofia Game Jam Week

 

The latest edition of Sofia Game Jam, a one-week gaming forum, took place in Sofia between January 25 and 31. The event is organized by volunteers with the support of the Bulgarian community of game developers and is part of the international initiative Global Game Jam. The event ended with a 48-hour hackathon weekend.

At the invitation of the organizers, Sofia’s DeputyMayor of Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development Vladimir Danailov also participated in the opening event. On behalf of Sofia Municipality and Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, he wished inspiring days in Sofia to all gaming companies, developers and fans of games taking part in the local event.  

“The capital is home to world-renowned Bulgarian gaming studios and a centre attracting affiliates of world leaders such as Ubisoft, Gameloft, Creative Assembly, SEGA. Undoubtedly, the sector is something Sofia can be proud of and its potential must be developed. My team and I will continue to work on this. Currently, our focus is on the gaming industry, creative visualization, video and film production. Recently, with the support of Game Dev Summit, we also published the document Sofia Gaming Studios – the first sector matrix mapping out companies and all other ecosystem parties in Sofia,” said Mr Danailov at the launch of the event at the French Cultural Institute in Sofia. 

 

More about the creative sector in Sofia

  • – The creative sector in Sofia is among the fastest growing and those with the highest value added to the capital city’s economy (ranking fourth in terms of value added in the city in 2015);
  • – While the creative industry makes up about 4-5% of the big cities’ economy in Europe, its share in Sofia is about 8% – higher than the European average and close to other priority sectors for Sofia, such as manufacturing and outsourcing, which contribute 10% each.

 

The gaming industry in Sofia and Bulgaria

  • – Over 2/3 of the gaming industry in Bulgaria is concentrated in Sofia; 
  • – Over 50 companies operate in Bulgaria, 35+ of which are in Sofia;
  • – The gaming industry recorded the highest growth among all creative industries in Sofia and achieved 127% growth in value added at factor cost (2008-2015);
  • – The companies in the sector include the local branches of some of the world leaders – Ubisoft, Gameloft, Creative Assembling, SEGA, etc.; many Bulgarian studios are known worldwide – Haemimont Games, Imperia Online, XS Software, Zariba, etc., together with many independent developers;
  • – Since the creation of the first studios, several indie studios open every year, and more and more enthusiasts have decided to develop in this sector in recent years along with the development of the industry worldwide;
  • – The first commercially successful Bulgarian game is Tzar: The Burden of the Crown, released in 1997

Although there is no official survey of the number of employees in the sector, their count is around 1,200, according to Game Dev Summit. Most of the employees in the sector work in Sofia.

The whole spectrum of games is being created in Bulgaria – educational, casual, strategy, RPG, story driven RPG, platformers, AAA games, VR, etc.

The platforms, for which games are made in Bulgaria are all well-known on the market – mobile, console and PC.

You can take a look at the sector canvas Sofia Gaming Studios published by Sofia Investment Agency here.

 

Photographer: Stefi Rumenova

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