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   2007-10-26

 

CGA Europe East 2007


Last week October 17-19, Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine hosted CGA:Europe East - the second casual game developer conference being held in Ukraine. In fact, this event is much more than a conference - but a place and time for casual game developers from Eastern Europe to sign new deals, share their experience and present themselves to the industry insiders from both sides of the Atlantic.


CGA: EUROPE EAST 2007 IN FIGURES

 

Cga: Europe East Photos This premiere event for game makers gathered 530 attendees from 157 big companies from 24 countries of the world. This seems like a huge step ahead in comparison to the last year's 306 attendees!


CGA: Europe East was organized by Casual Games Association and Absolutist Ltd - the biggest game developer and publisher in Ukraine.

 

Everything went smooth since it was well-prepared - starting from escort for the foreign guests from the airport and up to the schedule of business meetings.

 

 

SESSIONS AND SPEAKERS


CGA- Europe East 2007 - Speakers Due to a huge number of industry sharks acting as keynote speakers(Ron Powers, Tony Leamer of Oberon Media, Daniel Bernstein of Sandlot, Jeremy Snook of RealNetworks, Jason Kapalka, founder of PopCap Games... sorry, I cannot name all of them here:)) the sessions at CGA: Europe East managed to cover almost every aspect of the successful business development and publishing - and up to the legal issues of game development and distribution.

 

The full list of sessions and speakers is here .

 

CONCLUSIONS AND PROGNOSIS


Meetings at CGA Europe East 2007 Keynote speakers and attendees were reviewing the way the industry's made in 2007 and here are some essential conclusions:


- The predicted casual game industry growth took place and is still going on. Bigger number of customers and rapidly-increasing demand result in increasing the number of games released to the market. It means, while more small companies continue to enter the market, big companies are only getting bigger. This is why during the conference, Oberon Games announced the acquisition of Friends Games (Ukraine-based developer) and Kenjitsu (Russian big studio).


- Another milestone for 2006 was outlined by Alexander Lyskovsky, Alawar's President is that game market in the Eastern Europe has moved off the dead center this year. More people getting access to the Internet, and tending to buy the full versions instead of just playing the cracked version and this trend will be active in the coming 2008.


CGA Europe East 2007 This year's CGA: Europe East turned out to be essential as it determined the key directions for business growth for the future that looks quite bright for casual game developers and distributors:


- try-and-buy will remain the most popular business model for the near future;

 

- the revenue made online thru in-game ads will continue to grow;

 

- Game developers will be focusing on some non-PC platforms (Mac, gaming consoles,iTV).


SPECIAL EVENTS:


CGA Europe East 2007I'm not talking here about the tempting aroma of Ukrainian food that attendees could try at lunch breaks in a restaurant with retro-style interior. Neither am I talking about terrific medieval-styled party at Bochka club from Ukrainian developer Enkord which announced their plans to release and further develop more male-targeted casual games - to please the audience that is currently underservered: males of all ages. Or disco-night at a bowling club from Oberon Media (both companies outdid any other CGA parties I've been too ;). Not to mention the sightseeing tours around the most notable places of Kiev - one of the oldest cities in the Eastern Europe.


This year more special and significant event took place during CGA: Europe East. It was Innovate 2007 - a contest sponsored by IT Territory - a big Russian developer and publisher that was aimed at cultivating innovations in casual games.


CGA Europe East 2007 According to the terms of CGA Innovate, game developers had to submit their titles at the stage of development and jury that consisted of the experienced industry people from around the world were to select the best of the best in several categories.


Jason Kapalka, a founder and CEO of PopCap Games who was a member of jury at CGA Innovate 2007 shares his opinion of CGA Innovate 2007.

 

CGA Europe East 2007"In the West, casual game developers from Eastern Europe are often thought of as outsourcing shops: cost-effective, perhaps, but not very creative. Helping to judge this contest revealed another side of the casual game scene here... one where games from Russia and other Eastern European countries can stand against titles from all over the world and be competitive in both quality and innovation. Congratulations also go to IT Territory for putting their pocketbook on the line to reward new ideas, in an industry that is becoming increasingly repetitive."


So, here's the list of titles that won the first prizes:


1. Twinkle Toes Skating by Hanako Games, UK

2. Picnic Police by Pretty Good Games, USA

3. Magic Circles, Nokolay Kuzmin, Russia


Special nomination winners:


CGA Europe East 2007 1. Most Innovative - Dangerous High-School Girls in Trouble by Mousechief Co., USA

2. Most Addictive - Magic Circles by Nikolay Kuzmin, Russia.

3. Best Character - Halloween Night - Pumpkin Match by EleFun Games, Russia

4. Best Story Development - Lex Venture by WarpTag, Brazil

5. Best Production Values - Cradle of Persia by Awem Studio, Belorus.


Congratulations to winners as they received high-value cash prizes. Too pity, nobody could see the games since they are not finished yet. But as each of them is released, we will review all of them.


CGA: EUROPE EAST 2007 - MATERIALS


To learn more about the event, please visit CGA: Europe East 2007 official website .


Helen Kovalyova(to the right), and the author of this article(to the left) Should you like to get the look and feel of CGA: Europe East check out the movie created by Helen Kovalyova - a lead marketing manager at WellGames and talented movie director.


View photos taken at the conference
.


I would like to say special thanks to Jessica Tams, Luke Burtis of Casual Games Association and Alla Khramtsova of Absolutist for their help in preparation of this article.

 

Inna Krivoruchko

 

www.GameMile.com

Editor-in-Chief

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Inna  2007-10-29 12:51:48
Thanks for the hint. Everyhting's corrected now
 

Vasya  2007-10-26 11:59:53
Great girls!
 

Keith Nemitz  2007-10-28 13:34:42
There are two typos in the CGA press release. The Most Innovative game award went to "Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!" and the company name is spelled Mousechief Co.
 

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