Israeli Govt failing to support games sector, claim devs

Israeli Govt failing to support games sector, claim devs
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

April 22nd 2013 at 11:10AM

Decision makers not even aware of 'multibillion dollar industry'

A lack of government interest and support is holding back the game development sector in Israel, local developers have said.

Develop spoke to a number of developers from the region that have pointed to the government being disinterested and even failing to realise the benefits of its games sector, which is responsible for Mini Ninjas Adventures and Splatters.

“There is currently no real government interest in the video games development sector, and it’s not even considered an after thought,” Guy Ulmer (pictured), GameIS board member and software engineer at electronics design outfit Cadence told Develop.

“It is as if the decision makers are not even aware what a multibillion dollar industry this is. The funny thing is that investment in the ‘traditional’ high-tech industry goes without saying.”

The Israeli government has be happy to nurture its technology industry with vigour, but there has been less recognition for games makers.

“There have been talks in the past, but in reality nothing has changed,” added Almog Koren, founder and CEO of Scoreoid.

“Overall this is one of the biggest pain points in the Israeli games industry, and having government support can have a big impact. When you look at Ireland as an example there is a lot that can be done.”

Israeli studios have been reaching audiences beyond the country’s other cultural and creative sectors, and by their own reckoning they are making big gains in markets beyond the country’s borders.

Jeremie Kletzkine, director of business development for PrimeSense and the related 3D sensing framework OpenNI, and co-founder of GameIS added: “The distance from targeted markets and cultures was always a competitive handicap. The Israeli studios are now taking advantage of new distribution/ad channels and platforms, such as Facebook and the mobile ecosystems.”

Ulmer’s company is now trying to encourage the Israeli government to make similar in games as it does to the traditional art and media.

Read more about Israel and its games sector in our Region Focus.