When it comes to hosting major events for a range of the world’s top industries, few cities have the credentials and reputation that Prague boasts. With its vibrant atmosphere and rich culture, the city is a hugely attractive location for conferences and conventions on anything from marketing to the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, it has arguably become best known for its relationship with the ever-evolving gaming industry.
A part of life
While video games might have once been seen by some as an antisocial pastime for ‘geeks,’ developments in the industry across the past couple of decades have led to a complete turn-around. Gaming is now part of life for so many of us, whether it is picking up a controller and loading up a console or simply grabbing a smartphone for a quick game of Candy Crush.
According to market intelligence body Newzoo, there are now around 2.3 billion gamers across the world, and they are set to spend an incredible $137.9 billion on games across this year alone. Such a figure represents a 13.3 percent increase from 2017, with more than half of all revenues ($70.3 billion) expected to come from mobile gaming.
With the gaming industry in such rude health, it is unsurprising that many conferences, conventions and other events are popping up across the globe. Prague is home to several and here we are going to take a look at a few major names to look out for in the months and years ahead.
Arguably the biggest gaming event held in the city is the Prague Gaming Summit, which is regarded as ‘the most successful boutique-style gaming event’ to be hosted in the location, it has been held twice so far and in a short time is already seen as a key event when it comes to networking in Central Europe. A range of well-respected organizations attended the 2018 event in March, and already all eyes are on what could well be in store next year. With the likes of NetEnt and Nmi Gaming involved this year, it will be particularly interesting to see whether companies such as Evolution Gaming – the driving force behind Betway’s live casino offerings – have new developments to share in 2019.
Another major date in Prague’s gaming calendar is 4C, a game development conference which this year is set to be held at the start of October. Taking place at the Clarion Congress Hotel, the two-day event explores the future of gaming and is expected to feature more than 90 speakers including Leszek Szczepanski, a gameplay programmer at Guerilla Games involved in the creation of titles including Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Taking a specific look at the mobile gaming segment, the White Nights Conference takes place three times a year across Europe, and in February it was held in Prague. With more than 4,000 visitors, the event is a major date in the calendar for mobile games development and features platforms including iOS and Android as well as the latest developments in virtual and augmented reality. We are sure that the conference will no doubt make a return to the city in the coming years.
A gaming event with less of a business and industry focus is For Games, which is set to take place at the PVA Expo Prague site at the end of October. A trade fair with a focus on video games and interactive entertainment, the event in the past has included everything from exhibitions to cosplay competitions. It even hosted some major eSports competitions last year too, with the Tiger Masters final taking place and featuring top action about professional gaming’s best-known titles including Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Hearthstone. More than 52,000 gaming fans attended last year with 199 exhibitors also presenting their latest creations. Whether you’re an industry professional or simply someone who loves games, it is sure to have something for you to enjoy.
Another event related to eSports which is one to look out for later this year is Good Game, a charity tournament which will see companies from the technology sector come together to do battle on Counter-Strike. The aim? To raise funds which will supply games consoles to children’s wards across a range of hospitals. The event will take place in November and is undoubtedly a great idea to support a fantastic cause.
A range of choice
All of the above highlights how Prague has developed an incredibly close relationship with the gaming world across the past few years.
With the industry continuing to go from strength to strength, Prague and the many events it hosts are sure to have a vital role in its future. It is yet another testament to the fantastic resources, infrastructure, and facilities that this glorious city boasts.