Turkey eyes $2 bln in digital game exports

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Turkey aims at reaching $2 billion worth in digital game exports by 2020, a leading sector representative has said.

Meriç Enver Eryürek, the board member of the Initiative, Development and Technologies Association of Turkey (TGGT), praised the state incentives for innovation and technological production.

“This [Turkey’s growth] is happening because Turkey is a center in the Middle East. Besides, 51 percent of Turkey’s population are youth, under the age of 25. The youth are interested in technology and follow this area of interest professionally. Turkey is the third fastest growing games market after Russia and Romania. Last year, the Turkish market’s growth rate was 24.7 percent, which can be considered record growth. This growth will increase further in the future, and I estimate the Turkish games market will attain $2 billion in exports by 2020,” he said at Gamescom, which was held in Cologne.

Eryürek also elaborated on the incentives for inventions and technological developments provided by the government.

“The state is providing various systems of assistance encouraging innovative developments and technological production for associations and private corporations because the government has noticed progress in technology and we utilize these incentives,” he noted.

“China is currently dominating the global games market, followed by the United States and European countries, while we [Turkey] are in 16th place,” said Eryürek, expressing his hopefulness about Turkey’s future in the global games market.

“Turkey consists of 30.8 million young people interested in games,” he added.

Furthermore, Tuğba Ölek, an adviser to the Game Developers Association of Turkey (TOGED), stated the Gamescom trade fair is very important for the global games market and that over a hundred professionals from Turkey, by attending Gamescom, have strengthened the Turkish games market’s ties to the global market.

Raw materials: Hard work and imagination

Describing the raw material of the video game industry as hard work and imagination, Ölek also commented on Turkey’s conditions and needs for further opening up to the global market.

“We believe the Turkish people exceedingly have these raw materials [hard work and imagination]. There are no obstacles stopping us from exporting, distributing and making the world play our games as long as we can produce them. What is important for us is to have the necessary workforce and investors. Families’ approach to children playing and developing video games is also crucial. Moreover, we need certificate programs and technical courses aside from the recently opened university departments,” noted Ölek.

Gamescom is an annual trade fair for video games held at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

Labeling itself the “heart of gaming,” Gamescom is the second largest gaming event in the world, hosting 345,000 visitors last year. Video game developers from 54 countries and 910 corporations exhibited their upcoming games and game-related hardware at the fair, which was opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Aug. 22 and ended on Aug. 26.

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