Home of Gaming Excellence, Malta is unleashing its potential as a global creative hub for interactive entertainment. The island is inviting content producers and digital publishers to join its other thriving tech and entertainment industries. Malta has already built the largest iGaming centre in Europe, attracted a host of IT and software development companies, and is a popular location for the international film industry. The island now wants to offer an alternative to global entertainment hubs such as London, Berlin, Paris and Montreal. In its effort to become a pillar of the digital world, Malta is creating a stimulating environment for producers, animators, game developers, 3D artists, VFX professionals, digital painters and illustrators.
The industry has built an impressive base of companies operating from the island. The country’s strong foundation in IT, iGaming and film provides a sound technical infrastructure for digital media production, which is being further enhanced by a dedicated iGaming academy called the European Gaming Institute of Malta (EGIM).
A pioneer in the iGaming sector, Malta has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas such as digital content production, software development and game publishing. Esports is one of the green shoots that is gaining traction and could well become a significant pillar of Malta’s gaming ecosystem. The country’s creative track record in the film industry also speaks volumes, with major blockbusters, such as Assassin’s Creed, Captain Phillips, World War Z, Munich, Troy, and Gladiator, being shot on the island.
Video gaming cluster
The video gaming industry is the newest member of Malta’s growing creative industries. There are some high-profile game studios operating in Malta ranging from AAA to Indie game developers. 4A Games and Exient are two of the most well-known companies, producing major games for desktop and mobile, as well as Xbox and Playstation. Investment in this sector is expected to rise in the coming years: the gaming industry, as well as Malta’s growing international film industry, are fuelling demand for production houses, including motion capture studios, sound stages and animation facilities. As the global entertainment industry pushes ever more into a virtual world or augmented reality, Malta presents itself as a viable hub for VR and AR game studios. The sheer number of digital companies operating on the island creates opportunities for game studios and start-up developers to test and scale their products.
Global production hub
The driving force behind Malta’s creative industries is skills transfer. Companies operating out of Malta could benefit from expertise gained in the iGaming sector, such as player-behaviour analytics, data mining, personalisation and customer experience, as well as the monetisation of games and other digital content. The talent and the companies behind the growing dominance of mobile gaming applications have also found Malta a fertile ground to conceive, develop and market their products. A host of tech firms, coders and programmers are already on the ground servicing the increasing needs of the gaming operators. Malta also offers a significant opportunity for innovators with the next disruptive tech in areas such as fintech and blockchain. Most of the major players in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space are relocating to Malta on the back of the island’s new regulatory initiatives. This development is being warmly welcomed in particular by game publishers to deliver solutions for licence verification, game token monetisation and the management of what can be millions of assets within the game. Added to this are the global tech labs that have Malta on their radar, as regulators place greater demands on safe and secure IT solutions to protect consumers.
Read Gaming Malta 2019
The positive reception by industry leaders at this year’s Gamescom has further strengthened Malta’s reputation in the sector. Testament to Malta’s creative potential has been the relocation of Trojan Horse was a Unicorn (THU), a week-long gathering of digital artists. THU, which previously took place in Portugal, brought more than 1,000 creatives and creators from all corners of the world to the island, including executives from the world’s leading entertainment companies Disney, Netfix and Ubisoft. THU is set to become a vital showcase of Malta’s digital creative ecosystem, which is expected to grow and gain further global recognition in the years ahead.
Photo Credits: ViewingMalta.com