21 April 2012

Games from Belgium

The gaming industry is slowly growing in Belgium. I notice it online on blogs and websites. Let me give you some interesting links.

It has been a while since I've revisited Fabrice l'été's post on his blog with links to game studios in Belgium. This post exists already for some years and is still growing. There are at least 10 more companies since I last looked! I've just added four more in the comments and you'll find some other interesting links there.

The Digital Arts and Entertainment course (amongst others) delivers each year more and more students skilled to start in this industry or even start their own company.

There's talk with the federal government and the Flemish government to support this growing industry financially and some projects are getting funding already.

The Flemish government has a whole website on this very subject, with various links in the industry. They also come with a list of gaming companies.

I recently worked for Eurautomat, a company that makes gambling games and websites. The technology they use is the same used in 'classic' games: for the arcade games Unity is used, flash for the website, Linux and OpenGL, etc. The games are mostly simple 2d flash-like games but the bonus games can grow into full 3d animated scenes. I attended the ICE event this year where I learned that the gambling-game industry is big, very big. Unity also had a booth there and has one next year.

Now the Belgian gambling commission has begun restricting online gambling sites, which is a good thing. There is a white list with 10 websites, which have all received B+ licenses, and 4 with A+ licenses. There's also a black list, it's forbidden by law to play on these websites and you can get fined for it. This protects the players but also makes competition in Belgium fair. All I want to say with this: these are just 10 more websites that will be needing games to be developed and at least some of them are already developed in Belgium.

So I see a bright future for games in Belgium. Who's attending Gamehub next week? Is there a community growing?

Have some other interesting links? Post them in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Hey Alex,

Thanks for the links and for your very informative post, I updated the list on my blog.

There is a lot of stuff going on in Belgium, but it is just too bad that there seems to be so little synergy between Wallonia and Flanders. I wasn't aware of any of these things, and most of the pages are only in Flemmish...

Btw, would you fancy coming to Namur on the 5th of May? It's the open doors days at my school (http://www.infographie-sup.be/en/), I could show you around and discuss the stuff we do over here (PSP/PS3 dev).


Alex Vanden Abeele said...

Hey Fabrice,

You're absolutely right, there's not enough of synergy. I just visited the website of your school and I must say it looks awesome. The graphics course program is one I would like to follow :) Indeed we are missing out on something that Flanders does not see the graduates from that school, just as Wallonia does not see the DAE graduates (or at least not much).

I'd love to visit, but it seems that every school has open doors that day, my wife and I are visiting some for our daughter. Are you coming to Gamehub? I saw that fishing cactus is present :) I'm planning to be there.