A gaming campus worth €50M in the city of Novska in Croatia will aim to boost the video game industry in the country and the rest of the region. Projected to be completed in two years, the main goal of the campus is to attract over 50 Croatian startups from the sector.
The idea for the campus began a couple of years ago, when the video game industry started to pick up in Croatia. Back then, the Croatian regional development agency SIMORA, noticed that existing companies in the industry lack developers. SIMORA also manages the PISMO Business incubator, where more than 50 percent of Croatian video game companies are located.
“That is why we started trainings. Over the years, we have trained more than 250 people in making video games. Since we offer entrepreneurs the most advanced technology, as well as workspace, 67 of them decided to open their start-ups within the incubator. We realized that, in a very short time, we will be lacking a workplace, so the idea of the world’s first gaming campus was born”, Mario Celan, the director of SIMORA, tells The Recursive.
The campus, which is in its initial phase will cover 9,000 square meters and will contain a faculty with five-year-study, a dormitory with all associated facilities, such as restaurants, a business incubator for eSport with 4,000 seats, and an accelerator for the gaming industry.
“The business incubator for eSport will allow 4,000 people to test video games at the same time and make repairs on them immediately, but also to compete against each other while others are watching them”, Celan says.
The potential of gaming in SEE
Worth more than $200 billion, the gaming industry is starting to show its vast potential. The Western Balkans is also becoming a hotbed for the gaming industry, with countries such as Serbia becoming regional hubs.
Last year, Serbian mobile games developer Nordeus was acquired by US video game holding company Take-Two Interactive, in one of largest deals for the Serbian gaming industry, potentially worth up to $378M.
Building on such developments in the region, the Novska campus is also looking to attract further investments, as it is located in a region within Croatia that offers many benefits for investors.
“Namely, this region offers numerous benefits – land from 0,15 EUR/m, 2,0 % interest on business loans, and non-refundable up to 75% of the investment value.” Celan explains.
Additionally, SIMORA’s expectations are that the Novska gaming campus will also change the industry image for Croatia, and the rest of Europe as well.
“The Croatian government has recognized the potential of this project, which is creative and fully technology oriented, and that is why more and more young people are coming to Novska, and the campus is expected to get even better results”, Celan concludes.