Bologna Game Farm, Emilia Romagna wants to cultivate the video game industry

Bologna Game Farm, Emilia Romagna wants to cultivate the video game industry

Bologna Game Farm

The IIDEA report gives us a snapshot of the Italian video game industry every year. An industry with very healthy numbers: in fact, we exceed one billion euros in turnover. Much of this money, however, does not stay within national borders. In other words, our country cannot count on many development studies with an international scope.

Just think of countries like France, England, nations comparable in size to ours, but also Poland or Sweden: they are all light years ahead of us. And it's a shame: Italy has a top-level creative substratum and it would be a shame not to use it to have our say in an industry in which art, style, design and music play a leading role. All this without considering that we are talking about one of the richest, youngest and most promising sectors on the planet and it would be a shame not to exploit it to create several hyper-specialized jobs and generate a few million euros in revenues.

Emilia Romagna + Bologna

The Bologna Game Farm working group For these reasons, two institutions in our country that are always quite attentive to this kind of trends, namely the Emilia Romagna Region and the Municipality of Bologna, have decided to form a consortium to try to understand if there is the potential to create a video game industry in the region and, if the answer is positive, to find a way to help emerging firms not only grow, but amalgamate with the rest of the realities in the area.

On the other hand we are talking about a region that boasts of hosting some of the most renowned, efficient and richest Italian companies (Barilla, Ferrari, Ducati tell you anything?) and of a city that for almost a thousand years has been known as "the Learned", by virtue of its lively university life.

Bologna Game Farm was born from these premises, a business accelerator designed to help small independent studios in the area to grow and become big.

Bologna Game Farm

A fascinating journalist listens to the projects of the Bologna Game Farm Bologna Game Farm is the latest initiative by Incredibol, a project born in 2010 to foster the growth and sustainability of the cultural and creative industries sector in the city of Bologna and in the region Emilia Romagna. The nine editions of the call have seen 900 applications for a total of over 2200 participants. In 2016 they decided to probe the local video game industry and, finding it interesting, the organizers decided to set up a structure capable of helping start-ups to grow and develop.

The technicians of the Municipality and the Region, however, after identifying the funds and the structure where to place the incubator (inside the beautiful greenhouses of the Margherita Gardens in Bologna), they realized that, in order to better help start-ups, they lacked specific knowledge of a very particular industry such as video games. From this need was born the technical collaboration with IIDEA, the trade association of the video game industry in Italy, which has made available its skills and professionalism to help guide the studies involved in the project.

Accelerator, more than an incubator

Some of the mentors / minds of Bologna Game Farm The Bologna Game Farm project has therefore become a sort of accelerator, rather than a real incubator. In fact, the tender with which it was possible to try to access the project had rather stringent parameters designed to find 4 projects and as many already structured teams, to be scrapped and trained. The goal is to have a vertical slice of their project created to be presented to publishers from all over the world at events such as the Gamescom of Cologne or the GDC of San Francisco.

The help given by Bologna Game Farm to the selected projects is at 360 °. There is, of course, a non-repayable contribution thanks to which the various teams were able to give some oxygen to the corporate coffers and strengthen their staff. To find the new professional figures, the Region and the Municipality put the developers in contact with the various local realities and institutions, on which to rely for every need. Why not take advantage of the talents of the Bologna Conservatory to help you create the game's soundtrack?

Gladiators Wheels Do not underestimate the specialized help from some tutors who worked closely with the teams to, initially, put them in front of all their limits and then to help them build a pitch of professional level thanks to which to arrive prepared in front of publishers from all over the world. It was therefore both a creative and managerial approach, which analyzed all aspects of the various teams.

Many of them, in fact, were too focused on building their own vision that they had overlooked the economic aspect of a project. Others, specializing in network systems, have been strengthened from an artistic point of view, while in other cases the game design setting has been completely changed.

In the Bologna Game Farm, therefore, you are not looking for "only" to look for a publisher for the selected companies, but to create professionals capable not only of proposing themselves to an international audience, but capable of integrating and being an added value for the entire production chain of Emilian creativity.

The games

Spanky - Bat'n'Swing by Green Flamingo What are the projects and therefore the games that are part of the Bologna Game Farm? We'll go into it more specifically in the next few days, but start marking these names:

Basket Party by Orbital Games, a multiplayer mobile game that combines basketball with Magari's MOBA Flagship, a 3D narrative puzzle game Gladiators Wheels by Dreambits Studio, a multiplayer game with a focus on combat aboard Spanky vehicles - Bat'n'Swing by Green Flamingo, a 3D musical platformer with a style inspired by electro swing and electro jazz from the 30s

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