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How important is gaming development and esports to Malta?

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We take a look at the current gaming development and esports in Malta situation and the upcoming plans for the future which allows us to see how important it is to the country.

The current situation

Malta has gained a reputation as a place where game developers can thrive. At the start of this year Silvio Schembri, who is the Minister for the Economy, European Funds and Lands, was at the ICE London and said that there had been a significant increase in the number of gaming industry operators based in Malta. 

This can perhaps be traced back to the launch in 2019 of an initiative called Malta’s Vision for Video Games Development and Esports. Amid a booming global games market, the idea for this program is for it to contribute 1% of the national GDP and create somewhere between 2,200 to 3,000 jobs in the next ten years. The introduction of a €10 million venture capital fund in the near future should drive forward the tech industry in Malta.

This idea is based on making a push for esports first, followed by video game development. A variety of incentives include tax rebates of up to €200,000 for the production of video games with a cultural aspect. We may see games like the Valletta: Streets of History app that was launched at the start of 2023 with the help of the Malta Arts Council.

In terms of esports, the Malta Esports Association was inaugurated in 2022 as part of the plans to make this area grow. They aim to make the esports ecosystem in the country grow, attracting foreign businesses and creating new job opportunities. Among the upcoming events listed on their website, we can see the V1 Malta Series Season 6 and the Malta Cyber Series VII.

Playcon is an expo event that covers esports and video gaming. It was first held in 2019 and the second edition, in 2022, brought together speakers from influential companies such as GamingMalta, Tundra Esports and ESL. Playcon 2023 is scheduled to take place from November 30 through to December 3 at the MFCC as the next step forward in this area.

The major companies based here

A look at the top games development companies located in Malta reveals names such as 4A Games. This company has offices here and in Ukraine, with their latest release called Metro Exodus. Set in the year 2035, it shows how Earth has been devastated by nuclear war and a small group of survivors who remain in tunnels in Moscow need to leave to search for life further East.

Anvil Game Studios created Holdfast: Nations At War as their debut game, as a multiplayer shooter set in Napoleonic times. For their second game, they’re working on a World War I title called Holdfast: Frontlines. Both games promise huge battles with 150 players on each server.

Malta has also become an important part of the global casino gaming industry, with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) regulating casino games since 2001 and helping the casino business make up more than 10% of the country’s GDP in recent years. Many of the leading international online gambling sites have obtained a license to operate from Malta.

This list of no deposit bonus offers from casinos includes names such as William Hill and The Online Casino. These casinos operate in numerous countries, with a license from Malta allowing them to provide their services in many countries without their own regulatory authority. The offer of bonuses with no deposit needed shows us how highly competitive this market is, which suggests that it’s going to carry on growing.

What happens next?

The plans to make the gaming industry grow in Malta appear to be coming along well in various ways. On the one hand, it remains a key player in the online gambling market thanks to the presence of the MGA and its ability to provide licenses that allow these sites to operate.

The esports scene here is still at the growth stage and it’s a tough market, with London and Seoul among the big cities that are set to host major tournaments in the next year. Breaking into this potentially lucrative market isn’t going to be easy, but the signs are good Malta is on the right track for a bright future in gaming. 

Players must be 18+ to partake in any casino, gambling or betting service. Players are urged to seek help if they require it. Players play at their own risk. 

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