As one of the fastest growing European Union economies, Lithuania continues to take an ambitious approach to building a strong knowledge economy.A�Game Development, or gamedev, is an industry that is experiencing notable growth within the knowledge economy. Created literally from scratch over the past 20 years, the gamedev community in Lithuania has gone from crafting a do-it-yourself niche market to establishing itself as a legitimate stakeholder within the countrya��s information technology sector.
Currently, there are around 15 gamedev companies in Lithuania; several of which have been recognised internationally thanks to the worldwide success of their products. Examples include Nordcurrenta��sA�Cooking Fever, which has been downloaded over 100 million times, and TutoTOONS, a gamedev company with over 300 mobile games and more than 200 million downloads worldwide.
Therea��s a lot to be optimistic about, and considering Lithuaniaa��s current economic climate, the potential for the gamedev sector is on the rise. With the worlda��s fastest public WiFi, a speedy and accessible startup visa system, comparatively low operational costs and corporate tax rates, and a growing community of dedicated specialists, therea��s lots of room to turn that potential into something tangible.
Ita��s not just potential or future prospects, either; ita��s also about whata��s happening now. Just look atA�GameOn, the Baltic Regiona��s biggest gaming culture convention. The 2017 edition of GameOn, which took place in Vilnius this 16 and 17 September, drew over 15,000 visitors, 150 game developers, and some 100 media outlets from around Europe and the world. If the third edition of GameOn provides any indication of where Lithuaniaa��s gamedev sector currently stands, then therea��s much to be said about a self-made industry ready to be recognised as a major regional player.
Kotaku, a website dedicated to gaming culture around the world, came to Lithuania to get a first-hand glimpse into the local gamedev scene. Read about their experience and impressionsA�here.