Last Wednesday saw the launch of Malta's Vision for Video Game Development and Esports' where Prime Minister Joseph Muscat outlined the potential of the industry and the government's objective to make Malta a main area for video gaming in Europe.
Expansion and Incentives
The government aims to incorporate the video gaming sector with other industries such as film and data management, as well as use it in areas such as education and healthcare. It is also a key area for the expansion of different technology such as internet connectivity.
Following EU standards and rules, the video gaming industry in Malta will provide incentives to organisations in the sector, such as incentives on personal income tax, tax rebates for video games with a cultural dimension, start-up funding a well as other benefits.
A Growing Sector
Dr Muscat also highlighted the potential of the industry to contribute to 1% of the island's GDP and provide jobs for up to 3000 people in 10 years' time. The highlighted goals are partly based on statistics from 2018 which saw the value of the industry reach $135bn and grow by 11%, whilst esports alone generates over 290 million viewers.
To cater for this, the government is planning to invest in education and a talented workforce through new scholarship schemes, as well as work-placements for Maltese students, and international master classes.
A Sustainable Future
Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy, spoke about the importance of maintain the growth of the economy in the future by creating strategies that are sustainable and which contribute to the country's economic growth. The aim is to push esports and game development production, and to attract foreign investment and international competitions.
Malta already has a gaming sector established, with around 15 companies and 200 employees producing games like F1 and Angry Birds. The government also has its sights set on the esport company of ESL, with which it will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
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