Every third employee in the Czech gaming industry is from abroad

With 182 games currently in development in the Czech Republic, companies are seeking out local talent due to higher-than-predicted growth.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff
Published on 06.10.2021 18:00 (updated on 07.10.2021)

The Covid pandemic may have caused serious problems for a wide range of Czech industries, but for the Czech gaming sector, lockdowns opened up a new world of opportunity leading to higher-than-predicted growth.

In 2020, the turnover of the Czech gaming industry increased by a whopping 17 percent, much higher than predicted growth of 10 percent, and now industry leaders are hoping to consolidate this progress by elevating the industry to the level of those in the most advanced economies of Europe.

According to a study from the Association of Czech Game Developers, the pandemic saw over 330 new jobs and seven new gaming studios spring into existence in the Czech Republic as industry revenues exceeded CZK 5.3 billion. The Czech gaming industry employs around 2,000 people, but with double-digit growth seen consistently over the last five years, the number of jobs in the gaming sector is only likely to grow.

“From my point of view, for some time the Czech gaming industry was not a sector which the state paid much attention to,” Pavel Barák, chairman of the Association of Czech Game Developers, said in an interview with Deník N. “The state administration did not see the gaming industry as so important because no one fought for it. No one realized that as many as one hundred or even two hundred people can work on one title, and that this is a professional industry which can generate a large turnover.”

According to Barák, the Czech gaming industry is more advanced than other Central European countries such as Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. The model for the development of the industry is Scandinavia, where high levels of technological development and education, as well as effective cooperation between the state and the private, lead to extremely high performance.

The pandemic gave a boost to the Czech industry because video games became an even more important source of entertainment when other options were limited during lockdown. A boom in the number of people working in the industry resulted, and it is thought employment in the gaming sector will continue to grow to keep up with high demand.

“The gaming industry has a clear priority, and that is human resources. We need to educate people, either through the standard education system or through courses, summer schools, workshops and other opportunities for cooperation. Until there are enough suitable graduates, companies will have to look elsewhere for employees. Today, every third employee in the Czech gaming industry is from abroad,” said Barák.

The gaming industry is, by nature, strongly international. As much as 95 percent of customers for Czech games are from abroad, with the US, Germany, the UK, Russia, and China, particularly big markets. But with many skilled workers coming from non-EU countries, resulting in visa-related complications, there is a growing need for domestic employees to meet the demands of the industry.

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Women are also severely under-represented, making up only 15 percent of employees. The largest share of gaming industry jobs are for programmers and graphic designers, both making up around 20 percent of industry professionals.

The increase in demand brought on by the pandemic led to an increase in supply, with 182 games currently in development in the Czech Republic. As the industry goes from strength to strength, it could soon start to rival more traditional industries as an ever more significant part of the Czech entertainment sector.

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