At any given time Gotland University hosts hundreds of competent programmers, artists, producers and game designers. We encourage our students to take on commercial work and commonly see our students employed, their projects released independently or made into start-up studios. GAME collaborates tightly with Science Park Gotland – an incubator offering services and guidance through the establishing phases of a new business.
The Industry Panel at Gotland Game Conference was our way of creating an awareness of this work; to talk with the general public, politicians and press and show them what has already been accomplished and what further needs to get done. Thus we invited some of the local game companies and other parties interested in an industrious Gotland to talk indie development, start ups and how we can make Gotland a game developers Mecca.
Four student startups – all with products successfully released to market – participated on stage Meow Entertainment, Zeal Studios, Digital Nature and Heroic Entertainment. Science Park Gotland – a huge part behind the success of some of these companies – naturally had a chair, as did the chief of Gotland’s department of Regional Development
It was great to see our former students represent their business in such a public environment, and even greater to see what a hugely positive response they provoked from the attendees. There was a lot of energy in the room – though the format (panel discussion) soon gave way to a more free flowing and open conversation, the talking went on for well over two hours!
Thanks to everyone for being there and providing your insights, experiences and well wishes. Together we can make sure that student startups have much to win from sticking around and utilizing the unique strengths of this island!