TGC 2018 held its press conference on Monday February 26th with Hassan Karimi Qodousi, CEO of Iran Video Games Foundation, Mehrdad Ashtiani, the project manager of TGC 2017, and Saloumeh Ashtari, the project manager of TGC 2018.
During the conference, Mehrdad Ashtiani presented a statistical review of the achievements of TGC 2017 adding that “TGC 2017 turned into the greatest commercial and scientific event of the video games industry.”
“Iran Video Games Foundation has held TGC in affiliation with Game Connection, which is one of the pioneers of organizations for commercial gaming events in the world. Through this event, we had main objectives of sharing the experiences of international games developers with Iranian games developers, facilitating publication of products by Iranian game developers in international markets, as well as building confidence in Iran’s video games industry and introducing it to the international society.”
He added that “to achieve these quests, many sections including spaces dedicated to showrooms and commercial meetings, conferences, panels and masterclasses, Development Award and exclusive spaces were assigned to independent game developers.”
Counting the number of participants in TGC 2017 as 2360 people, he noted that “51 percent of the visitors participated in conferences, and 18 percent had commercial intentions and objectives.”
Regarding the conferences, the project manager of TGC 2017 reported that “60 technical conferences were held in two days with 5 major subjects of game design, artistry, technicality, project management, and business. 30 speakers from 15 countries participated in this event with the highest number of speakers from Canada, France, Germany and the US, respectively. Also, 5 full-time classes were held on subjects covering the weak points of Iran’s video games industry.”
Ashtiani added that “the exhibition had more than 120 booths dedicated to 73 commercial companies and 47 independent teams. Foreign publishers also joined the event upon invitations by the foundation.”
Adding that 20 people participated in TGC 2017 as representatives of foreign publishers, he said “we tried to gather together publishers from different markets such as Arabian markets, Turkey, and Europe in order to cover all target markets successfully.”
The project manager of TGC 2017 identified Meeting Application as one of the significant features of the event, adding that “this application enabled scheduling of working agendas prior to the commencement of the event. Last year we had 188 profiles created and 1613 meetings were requested, which had an acceptance rate of 49 percent. 64 percent of the requested meetings were targeted at international buyers.”
He further said that “Development Award was another great section of the event through which a panel of 21 international juries selected the best and the most creative Iranian game, and of course, this was a great opportunity for the games to be carefully inspected by foreign publishers. The interesting point here is that the games that attracted the attention of the publishers were not those copycatted from foreign games but the ones originally created based on our own cultural values.
Export of two Iranian games through contributions by Tehran Game Convention 2017
Following talks about surveys taken from international and domestic participants, Ashtiani added that “International buyers taking part in the survey expressed expectations to reach at least one commercial contract with Iranian game developers. Also, two games have reached the contract stage with international publishers. International participants have expressed their pleasure due to presence of enthusiastic and energetic domestic game developers.”
Regarding the results of the surveys taken from Iranian participants, he noted that “507 people participated in the poll with 45 percent voting for very well, 45 percent voting for good, 10 percent average, and no one voted for bad or very bad.
TGC 2017 project manager added that “a 200-page analytical report of TGC weak points has also been prepared so as to hold an even-greater event next year.”
TGC is the biggest commercial and scientific event of the game industry in the Middle East
Hassan Karimi Qodousi, chief executive of Iran Video Games Foundation worded a clear picture of the future of TGC and said that “to hold TGC meant to fight at the front line of international affairs. Despite the sanctions and the efforts made by some to draw an isolated image of Iran, we clearly expressed our will to expand out of our borders, since sole focus on the domestic market would eventually lead to an slow death of the industry.” He added that “If we do not reach out for international knowledge and do not keep ourselves up-to-date, we will lose all our opportunities in this market in the next five years. That is why we held TGC as a giant leap towards scaling of international interaction and we are happy it has turned out to become the greatest commercial and scientific event of the game industry in the Middle East. Today, I hope TGC can become a commercial hub for the game industry in the region as the greatest opportunity for the game developers of the region as well as for international publishers and commercial negotiators.”
Karimi noted the differences of TGC 2018 with last year’s event saying that “one of the significant differences of TGC 2018 with last year’s event is the definition of Gamistan Territory consisting of 33 countries in which game development is in the development phase, and we intend to hold competitions between these countries. These competitions will be judged by international publishers, making it the greatest opportunity for new game products to pave a path towards international markets.”
He also announced financial partnership with Game Connection for the organization of TGC, adding that “the event is in the right path and this year less money from the foundation will be funded for the event. We anticipate that by the next three or four events, TGC will cover all its costs and expenses through its own proceeds.” He also noted that “after TGC 2017, many countries in the region including UAE and Turkey made contacts with our international partner Game Connection to encourage them to terminate their affiliation with Iran and instead, hold similar events in their countries. But fortunately, our precise detailing of the contract made our partnership and affiliation an exclusive cooperation in the region, and the success of TGC left no space for any hesitation by our affiliate.” “TGC 2017 brought upon Iranian game developers the need to interact with international events and for the first time ever, Iranian game developers enrolled in Game Connection exhibition in France at personal expense. Today we can say with confidence that upon experiencing with TGC, participation of our game developers in international events has significantly increased.”
Significant increase in the number of international publishers and speakers in TGC 2018
During the press conference, TGC 2018 project manager Saloumeh Ashtari addressed the press about the time and location of the event saying that “TGC 2018 is to be held on July 5th and 6th at IRIB International Conference Center. As our first step, we came up with the roadmap for the future of TGC, where managers from Game Connection came to Iran and sat with experts from the foundation to conclude upon ideas, criticisms, and suggestions by Iranian game development companies.”
She noted that the drawn roadmap sees five major changes in TGC structure and added that “one of the points expressed by Iranian game developers was how positive the meetings with international buyers had been, but the problem was that once the event was over and the participants returned to their homeland, fewer ones were eager to go on with the contract procedures. That is why we decided to emphasize that participation in the event is not enough if there is no clear output for the parties and we are now trying to bring in publishers that have no obstacles to commercialize their ties with Iranian game developers.”
Ashtari added that “the number of publishers or buyers participating in TGC 2018 has increased to 30 with 21 slots already filled by major companies from China, Russia and Canada.
She stated the 60 conferences held at TGC 2017 as a point of strength for the event and added that “one of the changes for next year’s event is that the number of conferences is boosted up to 80 with more time dedicated to international speakers. 50 international and 30 Iranian speakers are scheduled to appear in TGC 2018. 112 speakers have already applied for the event, of which 95 percent are from foreign countries. Domestic experts can also register their speech at http://www.tehrangamecon.com/en/call-for-speakers.
Another change for TGC 2018, she said, is the rating of conferences. “One of the problems with the conferences last year was ambiguity regarding the level of the conference. That is why this year the conferences are categorized into three levels of beginner, intermediate, and advanced.”
She added that “according to the feedback received from game developers, masterclasses will now be held one day prior to the
commencement of the main event, so that everyone can benefit from the conferences as well. So TGC 2018 is somehow held in three days.”
Ashtari talked on Gamistan Award as the last change and said that “Iran and 32 African and Asian countries, where game industry is developing are categorized into a hypothetical territory where they would compete in front of international publishers as juries. The nominees of the competition, who will be announced on June 5th, will also participate in TGC and have free access to exhibition space. The winners will be announced at the closing ceremony.
She also added that tickets for enrollment in the event is available for purchase from Monday February 26th. she also noted that “there are three types of passes with access to conferences, access to technical workshops and conferences, and commercial passes with access to conferences and Meeting Application. Commercial booths are also available for purchase from Monday February 26th.
She added that “purchasing of the passes by April 9th will qualify for a 30-percent discount. Also purchases by May 23rd will grant 20 percent off the pass price. College students enrolling in groups can enjoy a 50-percent discount on their purchase.”
For more information and to purchase your ticket or booth, please visit http://www.tehrangamecon.com/en/buy-ticket-or-booth