Vilnius: Fast And Open To Video Game Developers
Speaking at the 2016 GameOn video game conference, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius encouraged game developers to bring their big idea to Vilnius.
GameOn 2016 will take place between October 29 – 30 at the LITEXPO exhibition and congress centre in Vilnius, and promises to showcase the best of video game culture in the Baltic-Nordic region.
“Without doubt, Vilnius will be pushing to attract more game developers here,” said Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius. “The gaming industry is one of the biggest industries in the world and it even outranks the cinema industry in terms of how much revenue it generates.
“There are already game developers from East and West coming to Lithuania and collaborating with Lithuanian companies to develop games, so Vilnius is becoming a real hub for game development, and we have to be part of this virtual world. GameOn is an event as good as any other, and it shows that game developers and other important figures from the gaming world are coming to Vilnius.
“This creates additional value for our city, because they see we have a vibrant and creative atmosphere, and this may lead to them making connections here, and possibly relocating here. This will only help our economy, too.”
Šimašius also urged those skeptical of video games to be open to the “virtual world,” and explained that he feels gaming can help with the development of intellectual and problem solving skills, and called for them to be included in the Lithuanian education system.
“I think we have to start embracing video games, and not be hostile towards them,” he continued. “I also think we need to start using video games in our education system, because there are some that are very good for developing creativity and intellectual skills.”
Šimašius’ comments were echoed by GameOn organiser, Jonas Brazys, who praised Lithuania’s open outlook on the video game industry, and its eagerness to make a reputation for itself in the virtual world for being fast developing, and strict on piracy.
“Lithuania as well as our neighbouring countries has seen rapid development in the gaming industry,” he said. “We have seen growing interest in video games, not only among players, but also in general.
“We also witnessed steep decline in piracy and a more positive general outlook towards gaming culture from the public, governmental and educational bodies.”
GameOn 2015 was the biggest in the event’s history, and sold 7,000 tickets one month before it took place.
In 2016, it will be home to over 9,000 square metres of internationally recognised game creators and publishers, and provide guests with the chance to test the latest games on a range of computers, consoles, and in virtual reality.
GameOn is organised with the help of the Lithuanian Game Developers’ Association, and Nordcurrent, an internationally recognised game developer from Vilnius.