Barcelona’s games industry is thriving and offers excellent opportunities. With a population of 1.6 million, there are over 450 studios dedicated to programming, gamification, eSports and virtual reality. Home to Tangelo Games, Social Point and Digital Legends, It is the first choice for IGG and Scopely’s European hubs.
There is a significant game ecosystem in Barcelona. It is considered the 4th most creative city in the world, and Europe’s most innovative city. Barcelona is also Europe’s 5th start-up city, with more than 1,200 startups. With a high standard of living and quality of life, Barcelona is considered one of the most attractive cities in the world. Boasting a 4km sandy beach 10 minutes from the city centre.
The Spanish city is also the first and only city that has received a Royal Gold Medal for architecture. Barcelona won the award in 1999, in recognition of the city’s contribution to international architecture. It is also a global benchmark for smart cities, investment and yes, is also home to the most famous football club in the world.
Top Tip: Keep a close eye on GameBCN; the main videogame specialist program in Southern Europe which offers the necessary training and mentoring to make a successful launch to the market. So if you like to keep an eye on the latest in industry innovation, or are a startup yourself, this market is definitely one to watch out for.
Berlin has 140 companies in all fields of the games industry employ around 2,100 peoplein the region and generate €255 million in annual revenues. Here you will find highly qualified specialists and talents from all over the world, extensive industry networks, and plenty of international events. Berlin has become home to a strong developer scene with numerous indie studios and industry leaders.
The focus here is on social games, online gaming, browser games, mobile games, serious games, and virtual worlds. Some of the biggest names include Wooga, Etermax and Klang Games.
When in town: Visit Gameon, Berlins largest gaming space featuring arcade games, an e-sports area with console and PC gaames, VR, board games, gaming tournaments.
Don’t let Brighton’s traditional British seaside reputation fool you – it’s one of the UK’s top centres for game creation, and a magnet for talent. Brighton is just another example of how key gaming hubs can operate outside capital cities. With nearly 100 studios, it is a well-established, well connected hub, that offers not only fantastic employment opportunities, but also a close-knit gaming network and a fantastic quality of living.
Home to leading game studios such as Brightrock, Westpier and High-rez, well established studios are expanding their office space into this tech and gaming hotspot to reach a growing market. Brighton has also been the host of internationally renowned conferences, most notably Develop: Brighton, where Shuhei Yoshida offered the opening keynote this year.
Finally, with Britain’s most famous Pier, buzzing nightlife and of course, the world-famous Brighton rock, Brighton’s not nicknamed London-on-Sea for nothing. It has a rich legacy of art, music and culture to keep you busy in your downtime.
Top tip: A real knock out: Make sure you catch ‘I am Arcade’, a gamers night that offers competitive gaming in a socially acceptable and fun space with likeminded individuals.
Helsinki might be small, but it’s a vibrant hub for gaming development talent and start-up innovation - as well as the home of the beautiful Tuomiokirkko cathedral (try saying that three times fast).
Games have been Finland’s biggest cultural export for over a decade. Despite a population of only 600,000, they are global leaders in gaming with an impressive 250 active studios – with 30 of them exceeding over 1 million Euro’s in annual sales. As well as gaming giants Redlynx and Supercell being based there, the hugely popular Angry Birds and Clash of Clans games are both proud to call the city their home.
Helsinki is the second best European city to live in, due to its flexible work/life culture and high quality of living. It is at the centre of global innovation and technological expertise, and its entrepreneurial culture has been rated as the third best in Europe.
Top Tip: The Games Factory opened its doors in 2018, a co-working space for a group of lucky Finnish Gaming startups. They serve as a breeding ground for innovation and creativity, a community meeting place and a platform for Finnish gaming initiatives.
The UK’s games industry is the largest in Europe, and it’s clear to see why some of the world’s fastest growing games businesses are choosing London. The city offers VGTR and is already home to over 600 games companies. Sports Interactive, usTwo (Monument Valley) and Rocksteady (Batman Arkham) are all based in London. EA, Rockstar Games and Ubisoft also have offices in the capital.
Although we may be biased given that the city is Haptic HQ. As well as being this multicultural city is the best in the world with over 300 languages spoken in the capital, as well as being home to the largest four-faced clock, we’re also the birthplace of Harry Potter, and the world’s longest serving monarch in history – Queen Liz.
Often regarded as a world cultural capital, London is a leading global city in everything from the arts and fashion, to banking and finance – it is the world’s largest financial centre – and was the first city in the world to reach a population of 1 million.
Top Tip: Pay a visit to Red Bull’s Gaming Sphere. It is the UK’S largest public eSports studio; enabling you to mingle with likeminded gamers, challenge yourself to a space in leader boards and learn from the creme de la crème of the London space like Fnatic.
Silicon Valley – home to multi-million-dollar startups and global tech companies including Apple, Facebook and Google to name but a few. But LA hasn’t forgotten about gaming either.
There are 331 gaming companies in Los Angeles, with around 15,000 employees in the space, making this city the countries industry leader. Many of the top developers including Riot Games (League of Legends), Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty), Electronic Arts (Fifa) and Sony’s Santa Monica branch (God of War) are based here. It is also notorious for being the host of numerous conventions, expos and conferences – from Electronics Entertainment Expo to the LA Games Conference.
The city is home to many world-famous celebrities in both the music and film industries and is experiencing an explosive population growth. We can only presume it’s due to the stunning beaches, desirable climate, over 300 attractions and of course the iconic Hollywood sign.
Top Tip: Swap your VR headset for some quarters and head down to the Santa Monica pier to visit Playland Arcade - an absolute must for fans of classic video games.
Stockholm: modern, dynamic and ever-changing. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have played a game produced in Sweden, and you can see why. With gaming giants Dice, Mojang, and Paradox Interactive all based there, and producing games such as Minecraft, Candy Crush and Battlefield, Stockholm is one of the world’s leading hubs for gamers.
The city is Sweden’s cultural epicentre. Boasting a plethora of museums and attractions as well as the beautiful architecture evident in its Old Town, the Gamla Stan. The Beauty on Water and the Venice of the North, are proof of why Stockholm is ideal for gamers looking to relocate somewhere not only culturally rich, but also at the forefront of technology. Many relocate to make use of their fantastic healthcare and education systems.
Top Tip: Not only is there an entire museum dedicated to the city’s biggest export – ABBA. If you’re not a fan of iconic band you can check out the Vasa Museum, showcasing the world’s only fully intact 17th century ship that was salvaged from the Stockholm seabed.