Let’s talk about game development in these countries: let’s analyze interesting features, look at charts and statistics, and find out what is useful to know to launch your game on the Czech and Slovak markets.
Czechoslovakia: a little history
The first computer games were developed in Czechoslovakia in the late 1970s. They experimented with the development of graphic video games on the basis of military clubs “SWAZARM“Is an analogue of the Soviet DOSAAF.
Popular platforms at the time were the ZX Spectrum and the Czechoslovak computer. PMD 85… By the way, games for them in Czechoslovakia were released even in the 90s.
In general, most of the work of Czechoslovak programmers is text adventure, but there are a couple of games that stand out against the background of the general picture. One of them – Hlípa: This is a game developed by the members of the club “SVAZARM” in the late 1980s. Hlípas are like amoebas; their homeworld is the planet Danepa. The Khlips will have to face another people – the Sivrams. Pay attention to the animations: for those times they are really very complex.
Another interesting example of the work of Czechoslovak game developers is Přistání na mesíci. This is a real time moon landing game right here there is more about it.
Ever heard of titles like Mafia, Arma, Beat Saber and Kingdom Come: Deliverance? They all come from the Czech Republic! Let’s go through the most interesting things that we managed to find about game development in a country famous for its breweries :).
After the collapse of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the first commercially distributed Czech video game was released Světák Bob… The game did not gain much popularity. A couple of years after the release, the company took over its distribution. Vochozka Trading, which released two more games a year later: Tajemství oslího ostrova (“Donkey Island”) and 7 dní a 7 nocí (“Seven days and seven nights”). And now these games have already become popular. Even after 20 years, they are honored with let-plays 🙂
The situation on the Czech market now
In 2019 in the Czech Republic there were 110 companies, specializing in the development of video games, and the total number of game developers in the country was estimated at 1,750 people. At the same time, more than 60% of companies were interested in expanding their staff, and this task is complicated by the lack of educational programs in disciplines related to game development.
An interesting feature of the Czech game development market is the dominance of local businesses: branches of international companies occupy a modest 9% market share.
The turnover of the Czech gaming industry in 2019 reached 169.4 million euros. This is three times the turnover of the Czech film and television industry. Expectations for 2020 – overcoming the bar of 190 million euros; of course, if the global economic recession caused by the pandemic does not make its own adjustments.
In 2019, 65 games were created in the Czech Republic. Below is a breakdown by platform. Despite the rapid growth of the mobile gaming segment, PC and console games are still leading the way.
By the way, the Internet in the Czech Republic, as of January 2019, is used by 88% of the population – and it looks like a ceiling, because this percentage has not changed compared to January 2018.
What about the mobile market?
The Czech mobile games market has been growing strongly in recent years. The main reason, as elsewhere, was the widespread use of mobile devices and access to the Internet from them. Of 10.6 million people7.85 million people living in the Czech Republic use mobile Internet: this is about 74% of the population.
Operating systems on the Czech mobile market dominates Android: it is chosen by 8 out of 10 Czech users. It seems that in order to “probe” the market, it is advisable to start with the release of your game specifically for this OS.
Interesting events for developers
Game Access conf is a major conference for game developers: https://game-access.com/conference/…
Game Developers Session (GDS) is an annual game development conference: https://www.gdsession.com… This is a regular meeting of game developers from Central Europe, especially from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Gamer Pie – Video Game Festival: https://www.gamerpie.wtf… Held in the Czech city of Brno.
By the way, the Brno game development community website writes that there are more than 30 game development studios in this city: https://brnogamedev.city… Not bad for a city with a population of 381 thousand people: it’s about the same as in Surgut.
The main sources of facts and figures on the Czech gamedev industry:
What do we know about Slovakia? A small – slightly larger than Estonia – a country in Europe that has dozens of castles… By the way, one of them, Spissky Castle (Spišský hrad), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lives in Slovakia 5.45 million people: slightly more than in St. Petersburg.
Interestingly, there are no million-plus cities in Slovakia. In the capital, Bratislava (by the way, in the Middle Ages it bore the beautiful name Istropolis), about 425 thousand people live: comparable to Tver. And you can get from Bratislava to Austrian Vienna in less than an hour: between the capitals – only 55 km.
Market situation in Slovakia
Who would have thought that game development in Slovakia is a fast-growing industry supported at the state level. According to the Association of Game Developers of Slovakia (Slovak Game Developers Association) for 2019, over the past 4 years, support from the state in the amount of 1.49 million euros received over 90 game projects. Agree, this is very good for a small country.
In 2020, there are 55 companies developing games in Slovakia; a year earlier their was 38so the market is growing. According to the data for 2019, there were about 760 specialists in the game development industry in Slovakia. Compared to 436 specialists in 2016, this is an increase of 75%. More than 200 new jobs have appeared in the Slovak game development over the past year, and the most difficult thing is to fill the staff with qualified programmers and game designers.
The turnover of the gaming industry in Slovakia in 2019 exceeded 51 million euros. For comparison, in 2016 the turnover was estimated at 24.1 million: more than doubled in 4 years.
In 2020, 50 games were released in Slovakia, with most of them – 73% – for PC. Curiously, a year earlier the share of PC games was less: 53%.
The share of releases for Android in Slovakia in 2020 is 60%, and for iOS – 44%.
We add that the Internet in Slovakia is used by about 83% population. This is slightly less than in the Czech Republic, but the trends are similar: a year earlier this indicator in Slovakia was almost the same.
It is interesting to compare the turnover of the industry and the number of games released in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2019, 65 games were released in the Czech Republic, with a turnover of almost 170 million euros. And in Slovakia, with a turnover roughly three times less (preliminary estimate for 2020 – 55 million euros), 50 games were released in 2020. It turns out that although the Slovak market is inferior to the Czech market in terms of turnover, and quite significantly, the backlog of Slovak game developers in the number of releases is very small.
Some numbers for developers
Below are the most interesting, in our opinion, indicators for those who plan to release their game on the Slovak market. Although the order of magnitude is less than in the Czech Republic, the trends themselves are generally similar.
As we remember, game developers in Slovakia “sharpen” their products mainly for PCs. And this is not surprising, because almost 62% traffic Slovakia accounts for laptops and computers. Traffic from mobile devices, although it grew by 12% over the year, is still much inferior: its share is about 36%.
Gamedev communities in Slovakia
The gamedev community in Slovakia is quite open and active – perhaps, like everywhere else :). Some useful links: here map with the location of developer offices and okologamedev service providers, but community Slovak game developers on Facebook.
The main sources of facts and figures on the game development industry in Slovakia:
Czech Republic is part of the EU, but not part of Eurozone: the Czech Republic still has its own currency – the crown. If your game uses a third-party payment solution (for example, if you have a browser game or self-publishing outside the marketplace), pay extra attention to the issue of payment. There are also quite a few local payment systems in the Czech Republic. It’s good if your acquiring accepts payments from most of them, so that the player has the opportunity to donate to his favorite game in a couple of clicks :).
With Slovakia, everything is easier: the currency is the euro. However, it is worth making sure that popular domestic payment systems are supported by your acquiring.
What is the best language for publishing a game in the Czech Republic and Slovakia?
Although residents Czech Republic and Slovakia speak English, but the best solution is to make a full localization of the game into the user’s native language. In general, in the matter of localization, the following principle works well: the more valuable the market of a particular country is for you, the deeper you need to do localization for it. The priority is something like this: promotional materials → product → support → communities.
You have not yet decided which of these countries to localize in the first place? Perhaps for the Czech Republic, because more people speak the Czech language corny. The total number of Czech speakers is more than 10 million, and in Slovak – about 5.2 million…
If you are interested in the Czech and Slovak markets, we at Alconost will be happy to help with localization of your game into the languages of these countries (we translate only native speakers) and from creating a promotional video with native Czech or Slovak voice acting.
Veľa šťastia so vstupom na nové trhy!
This is “Good luck with entering new markets!” in Slovak.
Znáte-li nějaká zajímavá fakta o českém a slovenském trhu, nebude vám vadit, když se o ně podělíte v sekci komentářů?
If you have interesting facts about the Czech and Slovak markets, please share in the comments? – we ask in Czech.