Malta spinola

Malta’s gaming sector consists of more than its lucrative well-known iGaming sector, with efforts to cultivate an esports and video game development also reaping promising results.

While not yet on the scale of iGaming – in terms of profitability or size – GamingMalta COO Ivan Filletti believes these two sectors have notched decent growth in recent years, due to a variety of reasons including Government-led incentivisation, quality of life in the country, and also particularly notably, the fertile ground created by the presence of iGaming companies.

This was discussed by Mr Filletti on Tuesday at an event organised by The Malta Chamber in collaboration with the Government entity.

Mr Filletti emphasised that GamingMalta’s aspiration to help Malta become the ‘home of gaming excellence’ means more than just developing the iGaming industry and also boosting the video game industry, which globally is worth more than the movie and music industry combined.

GamingMalta, which is a non-profit organisation set up by the Government of Malta and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is striving to promote the video game industry and has recognised the possible cross-fertilisation between it and the iGaming sector.

Mr Filletti reflects that iGaming companies are asking to be introduced to video game development companies, while video game developers are offering their services to help support the iGaming industry.

GamingMalta has set out to build the sector ‘block by block’, envisioning Malta as one day becoming one big island campus for remote gaming.

There are a number of problems plaguing the flourishing of the local video game development industry, including shortages of skilled staff, but Mr Filletti points out that efforts are being made to address this, including through GamingMalta’s blockbuster collaboration with Unity and its building of the Basecamp.

A particularly notable company to arrive in Malta has been immersive tech developer Draw N Code, which has opened an R&D facility in the country.

This is a particularly notable example of the synergy between iGaming and video game development, as Draw N Code is heavily invested in by iGaming giant Entain.

In the future, it is hoped that the presence of such companies and their skilled staff will help to address the aforementioned skilled-staff shortage.

Mr Filletti describes the esports industry as “low-hanging fruit” for Malta, describing how the country has already attracted major esports tournaments, helping to put Malta on the map in this area.

Malta’s strong technological infrastructure, English language, and beautiful scenery lend themselves to the sector, which, Mr Filletti points out, is content-focused.

The iGaming industry is also embracing this sector, and a number of operators have even introduced esports betting, in a move which offers further monetisation prospects for esports.

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