Last year, the turnover of the Czech gaming industry climbed to more than CZK 5.3 billion, which is 17% more than in the previous year. Despite the obligation of the home office regime, gaming companies managed to open over 330 new jobs. The data are based on a new study on the state of the gaming industry in the Czech Republic published by the Association of Czech Game Developers.
The growth estimate for 2020 originally expected a 10% increase; before the pandemic, the resulting values were expected to be even 60% lower compared to the achieved turnover. The result proves a positive trend in the development of the entire gaming industry in the Czech Republic, which strengthened even during the pandemic. And according to estimates, it will continue to strengthen - for 2021, a year-on-year increase of another 10% is expected.
Pavel Barák, chairman of the Association of Czech Game Developers said, apart from the individual success of selected games, the reasons for faster growth also lie in the specific pandemics. The gaming industry, unlike other sectors, was not significantly constrained during it. Next year, we expect to exceed the CZK 5.8 billion mark.
Record number of employees, lack of Czech talent
Czech companies operating in the field of gaming employed 2,074 people last year, which is 20% more than in 2019. This is the highest number in history and is expected to be surpassed again this year. In 2020, gaming companies created 335 new jobs, this year they plan to attack the value of 400. The most difficult positions to fill are the positions of programmers (31%), graphic artists (22%), and animators (18%).
Every third employee in gaming companies operating in the Czech Republic is a foreigner (33%). Approximately half of the foreign workers are from EU countries (53%), less than the other half from other countries (47%). It is the high number of employees from outside the European Union who come to fill difficult-to-fill positions in development teams that leads to a long-standing appeal by gaming companies to speed up the visa process for these highly qualified staff.
Pavel Barák said, unfortunately, we do not have an effective system that can create enough new Czech employees. There is a lack of quality training and other alternatives for generating new employees. For example, retraining, which can be an interesting opportunity for people from other sectors where they are forced to lay off due to a pandemic. Companies now fill selected positions with people from abroad. The Czech gaming industry is sufficiently attractive and competitive on a global scale, which is why companies manage to acquire these foreign workers.
New game titles on the horizon
There are currently 118 development companies operating in the Czech Republic. As many as three-quarters of them use outsourcing services, most often for music and sound creation, localization, and game assets. Less than a third of Czech studies offer outsourcing, most often in the field of programming and complete production.
In 2020, a total of 58 new games were created in our country, of which 16 of them were released as so-called early access and soft launches of upcoming titles. Currently, Czech gaming companies are preparing more than 180 new games.