Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dinglish Conclusions to Dutch Gaming Sector

Posted by Picasa

STT is a think tank within the Royal Dutch Institution for Engineers. There's a small team of post-doc students who manage studies into various topical technical subjects, backed by relevant sectors of Dutch Industry. In the past they have published some excellent studies, like the one last year on the future of technology in Africa (opens as a PDF). That one is a truly excellent overview of various technologies developing across Africa.

I discovered rather late in the day that they have been doing a two year study into the future of serious games, and went along to the final presentation on Friday October 7th at the PWC building on the South side of Amsterdam. I came away confused and less optimistic that the local industry here will ever coordinate its activities well enough to reach world-class levels. In Dutch government circles the gaming sector is held aloft as having a world-class reputation. But the presentations from the companies themselves was very low key. I got the impression that although they definitely have creative skills to get dreaming up ideas, most of the coding happens in Eastern Europe or in China these days. And since there is no risk capital  in Europe at the moment - those with ambition head off for the US in search of venture capital. This was the same message I heard at Picnic 2011 in Amsterdam and at other recent technology conferences. The Netherlands spends a tiny proportion of its GNP on research and that is showing in its ability to innovate, especially in the creative sector.

I wish the conference this past Friday on the future of serious games could have been a bit more playful in its execution. Although the report and overview is very thorough, it seems to be a strange mix of languages. I note that the presentations on the website are in English, though the rest of the report is in Dutch. Not sure why they mixed them up. May be a confusion as to who the report is meant to influence? Certainly not foreign investors.

The challenge now is that STT does not have a history of continuity. Having studied this sector, they move on  to something else entirely. You get great snapshots. But in this sector, the snapshots very quickly get out of date.

Post a Comment