- The Basque capital hosts the seventh edition of the Fun & Serious Festival, from 8 to 11 December
- Germany, the European nation with the strongest gaming market, will be the Guest Country
- The Games Industry Forum is expanded with GIF Market, Pitch & Match and Conferences for Professionals
- GAME eSports will stage the Finals of its Second Season within the framework of the Fun Zone
The biggest gaming and gamers’ festival in Europe, Fun & Serious, will return to Bilbao to stage its seventh edition from 8 to 11 December. Video game enthusiasts – who will have access to competitions, prizes, talks and meetings with major figures within the sector – as well as industry professionals – who will have endless opportunities for training, meetings and business – both have their space on the Festival’s agenda, which will be made public over the coming weeks.
On this occasion, the Guest Country will be Germany, the nation that currently has the most mature and largest video-game sector in Europe. With 4,378 million euros profit, the German video-game market is not only the most important in Europe, but also one of the largest in the world (since its sales account for 5.5% of the international total). Moreover, its well-known international fair, Gamescom, held annually in Cologne, is a must-attend event, the most popular and most renowned on the continent.
In the words of Alfonso Gómez, head of the Festival: “The DNA of Fun & Serious is to promote the video game industry in all its aspects: production, distribution, promotion to the final consumer and even the institutional framework where the activity takes place. Germany is the largest European market and a point of reference at a strategic level, one that has achieved a consumption rate per capita that is 30% higher than the Spanish market. We not only have a lot to learn from this country, but also many ways in which to collaborate”
The Fun & Serious Game Festival will culminate with the traditional Prize-Giving Gala at the Guggenheim Museum featuring the attendance of leading international figures from the video-game world to receive their Titanium Awards within the different industry categories. Iconic names from the gaming universe such as the creators of Sonic (Yuji Naka), Tetris (Alexey Pajitnov), Angry Birds (Peter Vesterbacka), Candy Crush (Tommy Palm) and Monkey Island (Tim Schafer), have been honored at previous editions of the Festival.
The Festival is already an unmissable meeting-point for the industry and aims to elevate video games to the category of an art such as cinema or music. It is about giving relevance to a sector with a turnover of 1,913,050 million euros in Spain during 2016 (according to Newzoo),and that, according to SuperData forecasts for 2017, will reach $4.6 billion in profit this year and audiences of 665 million people around the world, far more numerous than the Spanish, German or American Football Leagues. Some 480 companies are devoted to video games in Spain and they generate considerable employment.
The Festival will host the Games Industry Forum (GIF), already tested last year, but strengthened at this edition, inspired by the Industry Club and the Marché Du Film at film festivals. It will feature a new matchMaking tool, providing a stimulating and effective meeting-point for representatives from this industry: networking, inspiration and development.
In addition, the GIF business side is reinforced by the GIF Market, a meeting-point between independent studios and publishers and investors, two of the most difficult areas for any young company in the industry. The GIF Market will provide the best networking and b2b tool for the industry in Spain, as well as serving as a space for training, learning and knowledge-sharing and a showcase for new professionals.
Call for Developers
In order to participate in the GIF Market you will need to purchase an F&S Pro entry and submit a portfolio on the project that you would like to present. This should include a description of the game, project status and development roadmap, download link of images and, if available, a video and a playable build that allows testing.
The project must also specify the target: publisher, investor, freelancers (programmer, artist, PR)…
Call for Investors and Publishers
In one day, the Fun & Serious Game Festival will bring together the best talent in independent development in Spain, in addition to representatives from the most important companies and agents within the video-game industry in our country and many leading international names. If you would like to know more about the Festival and how to attend, write to us here.
Another of the main new features this year consists of the talks and meetings, #creadoresqueinspiran, which will take place within the framework of the Fun Zone. This will be a heterogeneous and eclectic encounter in which the great creators of video games and products in other artistic disciplines such as cinema, music, the comic world and TV, will be brought together.
The Fun Zone at the Euskalduna Palace, the venue where the public will be able to see, play and enjoy the latest video games, has also expanded its space thanks to GAME eSports. High- competition eSports will feature in two auditoriums, where the best GAME STADIUM teams will compete, looking to be crowned champions of the Second Season. In addition, visitors will find more than 200 gaming stands featuring the latest titles on the market. Virtual Reality will be one of the highlights of the Fun Zone, the biggest phenomenon in the world of video games in recent years.