Gaming Industry in Kazakhstan Holds Huge Development Potential - Expert Opinions

The role of the gaming industry in the development of Kazakhstan's economy was discussed during a roundtable at the GameDev Center Demo Day. The event featured leading experts, prominent representatives from Kazakhstan's gaming industry and beyond, as well as startups that underwent the game development incubation program at GameDev Center.

Industry experts, including Magzhan Madiyev (CEO of Astana Hub), Anton Andreichenko (General Manager at Playrix), Manas Zhalgaspaev (Community & Project Manager at OGames), Alexey Shegay (CEO of iDos Games), Lev Tarasov (Founder and CEO of Animo and Omnium digital art schools), and Ilya Korchagin (CEO of Take Top Entertainment), shared their insights on the development of game development in Kazakhstan. The discussion was moderated by Bulat Tanirbergen, the Head of Product Management at Sergek Development.

Magzhan Madiyev, CEO of Astana Hub, highlighted that GameDev Center is a priority technology center at Astana Hub, aiming to develop the gaming ecosystem in Kazakhstan in collaboration with major industry players.

"We see tremendous potential in the gaming industry and will continue to invest resources in its development. GameDev Center at Astana Hub is gaining momentum, and we can already observe significant progress," said Magzhan Madiyev.

Anton Andreichenko, General Manager of Playrix Kazakhstan, mentioned that the global gaming industry has seen substantial growth in the last three years, with a cumulative revenue of around $200 billion in 2021. He emphasized that despite global upheavals, the market has stabilized, and there is a positive trend in purchasing gaming products.

"In 2023, despite global shocks, our market has stabilized. For example, our products are being bought in record numbers. We are purchasing an audience size that we have never bought before," shared Anton Andreichenko, adding that the potential for gaming industry development in Kazakhstan is indeed significant.

Following the discussions, seven teams presented their developed games:

  1. Borsyq Games: 3D platformer "Tale of the Forest Guardian" set in a fantastic forest in a parallel universe.
  2. Team Luminance: "Time-Bounded," an isometric world story about a 16-year-old teenager trapped in a time loop.
  3. Vanguard: A game inspired by Turkic mythology called "Lost Nomad."
  4. ICE EYE: An adventure game in the psychological horror genre with survival and puzzle elements titled "Come Undone."
  5. Wind City Games: A top-down survival shooter with a focus on resource management called "LabMadness."
  6. CorgiBites: A captivating Kazakhstani detective game set in the 1970s, "Project Red."
  7. Stardust Crusaders: "Dust of Past," a rhythm hybrid game immersing players in mythical Japan at the beginning of the 12th century.

These teams are participants in the Tech Orda program and students at the Omnium center, who, despite having no prior experience in the gaming industry, developed games from scratch in five months.

The games were evaluated by gaming industry experts, including Anton Andreichenko (General Manager, Playrix), Grigory Ivanov (Project Manager, Outfire, Mytona), Alena Zavideeva (Lead Game Creative Designer, G5 Games), Denis Baykal (CEO, Baykal Arts), and Gleb Nikiforov (Art Director, Uniday Games).

Vanguard won three awards: "Best Game," "Best Debug - Functioning Mechanics," and "Most Wanted - Most Anticipated Game."

After winning three nominations, Team Vanguard shared insights about their game "Lost Nomad," an RPG based on Turkic mythology. The team emphasized that the game would refresh the industry by offering a unique setting inspired by Turkic mythology.

Other award-winning games included CorgiBites for "Best Storytelling," Stardust Crusaders for "Best Audio," CorgiBites again for "Best Visual," WindCity Games for "Critics' Choice," Team Luminance for "Best Performance," and a special award for "Best Visual" given to CorgiBites.

It's worth noting that many of these games are already available on PlayMarket, and soon they will be on the AppStore.

GameDev Center was established in the fall of the previous year at Astana Hub with the support of the Ministry of Digital Development and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The center focuses on developing gaming IT startups and providing training for aspiring professionals. GameDev Center offers free training on 3D modeling basics, animation, game development startup strategies, and addresses the issue of the shortage of qualified personnel in the Kazakhstani gaming community.

For more information about the center, visit GameDev Center.

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