Gaming Industry in the Western Balkans

The gaming industry in the Western Balkans has lots of potentials to become one of the most profitable sectors. The immense success of Serbia’s Nordeus that’s been acquired by Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. for up to $378 million gives a major boost to gaming enthusiasts around the region.

Why this matters, apart from loads of money?

There are three major reasons why this acquisition is probably the most exciting story in the region’s IT industry during the last decade.

Nordeus Gaming Industry in the Western Balkans Of course, the success of Nordeus is enormous considering the size of the financial package. It’s the most lucrative deal so far in the region’s IT industry ever.

However, more than that it’s a major inspiration to many start-ups struggling to survive. Nordeus started eleven years ago and proved something most people doubt around here: it’s doable!

If they could do it, some others can too.

By joining forces with Take-Two Interactive that owns some of the most popular games out there (Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K etc.) Nordeus effectively became a major global player.

What matters more for the region is how things will develop from now on. Nordeus stays in Serbia, keeps its team and its founders remain in leading positions.

In other words, an entire innovation ecosystem that’s been built around this company in Belgrade will spill over to other companies, cities and very likely, to the wider region.

The gaming industry’s been identified as the key driving force of Serbia’s startup ecosystem, alongside blockchain.  Startup Genome puts it this way:

Three major acquisitions that got things rolling

One of the key growth indicators in Serbia’s gaming industry is the number of important acquisitions.

Alongside Nordeus that send waves around Europe in recent days positioning Belgrade as the key gaming hub in the part of the world, two previous acquisitions have shown something critically important: the capital city doesn’t have to take it all.

In 2012, Vladimir Mastilovic founded 3lateral gaming company in Serbia’s second-largest city, Novi Sad. Vladimir entered the gaming industry as a high-school student supported by his parents.

3lateral Gaming Industry Fast forward, 3lateral earned a global reputation after developing real-time motion capture technology that allows the creation of digital characters capable of fully reproducing facial expressions as seen in the real world.

In 2019 3lateral was acquired by the American gaming giant Epic Games.

Eipix gaming studio, also from Novi Sad, was acquired by Playrix, one of the largest mobile game developers in the world.

How Nordeus Story Can Help Gaming Industry in the Western Balkans?

Thanks to this acquisition, Belgrade officially transformed into a regional IT hub with the potential to attract investors, talents and innovative teams capable of creating the next successful startups.

These shining examples will cast more light on Serbia and its surrounding countries. Investors are always on the lookout for interesting ideas worth supporting.

Some investments and experience from more developed ecosystems are very much needed to kick-start initiatives in the southeastern part of Europe. The more interesting ideas coming from the region, the more operational capital will become to make such ideas come true.

Successful IT startups from Belgrade and Novi Sad have the knowledge to scale businesses, a skill likely to become most in-demand in the coming years.


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