Video game titles by Czech creators reign supreme in the world sales charts, and a number of prestigious awards attracted the attention of the world’s professional public to Czech developers. These achievements show that the development of video games is now a full-fledged industry in the Czech Republic. As one of the fastest-growing industries in the Czech Republic, gaming’s turnover climbed to more than CZK 5.3 billion in 2020, which is 17% more than in the previous year.
Czech game development studios are amongst the world’s top leading companies and Czech computer games are majorly successful around the world. Up to 95% of customers come from foreign countries, mainly the USA, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and China. The Czech Republic is currently home to a total of 110 companies, with 53% of them situated directly in Prague. As an example, Bohemia Interactive, the authors of the world-famous and award-winning ARMA series, or Warhorse Studios, who have achieved great success with the historical game Kingdom Come: Deliverance, are both developing their games in the Czech capital.
Despite the home office regime during the pandemic last year, gaming companies managed to create over 330 new job positions. However, the lack of a qualified workforce is prevalent in the whole sector and more than 60% of Czech companies reported a shortage of skilled workers. At the moment, the education in the field of computer game development is underdeveloped with just a few Czech universities providing study programs focused on computer games and the number of graduates each year does not meet the demand of the constantly growing industry. Thus, game companies attempt to resolve the labour shortage by turning their attention to the international job market. Today, every third employee in the Czech gaming industry is from abroad and more than half of the companies are employing at least one foreigner. Expats working in the Czech gaming studios are usually from Slovakia, Russia, Great Britain, the USA, Ukraine, Poland and the Netherlands. Moreover, salaries in the gaming industry are significantly above the Czech average. The average salary of all game development professions is at 80% of the Czech average. However, the variance in salaries in individual professions can be significant.
“Until there are enough graduates, companies have to go abroad. Today, every third employee in the Czech gaming industry is from abroad. And only 6% are Slovaks, the remaining 27% are outside the former Czechoslovakia. In addition, almost half of them come from countries outside the EU and it is more difficult to get them to the Czech Republic. Among other things, there is a need to address how to speed up the visa issuance process.”Pavel Barák, Chairman of the Czech Game Developers Association
The gaming industry involves the development, production and sale of video games; combining various technologies (e.g. software development, virtual reality and artificial intelligence), art (e.g. fine art, music, animation, screenwriting, and game design) and marketing (e.g. marketing strategies and sales models). The funds invested in the development of games in the world today are now equal or even outperform, for example, the film industry. Due to the rapidly growing popularity of gaming, video games are often referred to as movies of the 21st century.
The (gaming) industry is a pioneer in technological innovation, new business models and artistic creation. Today, video games encompass a whole range of products starting from simple interactive small games for mobile phones to extensive audiovisual interactive worlds that use cinematic elements.Czech Game Developers Association’s study Czech Video Game Industry 2020
The Czech gaming industry is based on well-paid and highly qualified experts and a product with high added value, connecting the latest technology with the art and cultural heritage of the Czech Republic. This unique combination has strong export potential, spreading the reputation of the Czech Republic abroad and helping to promote the whole country and its economy.