Made in Catalonia

Palau Robert in Barcelona hosts ‘Nova pantalla. El videojoc a Catalunya’, the first major exhibition dedicated entirely to the growing domestic video game industry

The curators aim to show the general public the creative process behind video game production VISITORS ARE INVITED TO DELVE INTO IMMERSIVE INSTALLATIONS AND INTERACTIVE CONTENT

Most of us have played video games at one time or another. Invizimals, Just Dance, Assassins Creed and the Candy Crush Saga are all world-renowned titles that have, to one extent or another, all been created or developed in Catalonia. It is what globalisation is all about: that video game you’ve been devoting so many hours to may have involved work from studios in Tokyo, Montreal or Sant Cugat del Vallès.

To raise awareness of the situation of video games in Catalonia, the Palau Robert venue in Barcelona has the exhibition, Nova pantalla. El videojoc a Catalunya (New Screen. The video game in Catalonia), which can be visited, for free, until September 4.

Organised by the Catalan government’s General Directorate of Broadcasting, which manages Palau Robert, Nova pantalla is the first major exhibition dedicated entirely to the video game industry in Catalonia. The aim of the exhibition is to reveal the various aspects of the local video game sector to the general public, not only in terms of gaming and leisure, but also in terms of economics, art, technology and teaching.

Curating the exhibition are the video game journalists Joan B. Galí, founder of the Atzucac.cat cultural digital publication, Albert García López, contributor to the Generació digital programme on the iCat FM radio channel, and Marc Angrill Jordà, director and founder of the Catalan video game magazine, Lúdica. The curators say their aim is above all to let the general public see the creative process behind the production of video games, along with making people aware of the professional profiles involved in video game production, and celebrating the games made by Catalan studios that have gone on to become international success stories.

The show also highlights the cultural and artistic aspects of video games and invites visitors to delve into this world through immersive installations, interactive content and games. The exhibition’s informative and playful nature aspires to reach both devoted fans and those with little or no experience of the interactive medium.

The exhibition offers an overview of the domestic video game sector. There are now 167 video game studios in Catalonia, which employ more than 3,000 professionals. What’s more, the forecasts are all optimistic, estimating an annual growth rate of 9.2%, with the sector in Catalonia expected to employ around 5,000 professionals by 2023.

Barcelona has become an international benchmark for the creation of mobile games, alongside other European capitals such as London, Berlin, Paris and Helsinki. In addition, the Catalan video game industry leads the sector in Spain with an annual turnover of around 500 million euros.

The Catalan studio Novarama recently announced an investment agreement with Tencent Holdings. In this way, the Chinese macro-corporation, the world leader in online gaming, will become a shareholder in the studio known for creating the Invizimals, PlayChapas and the Killsquad series.

Another recent item of video game sector news is the announcement of Ubeat Live this summer, the new Barcelona festival specialising in video games and esports, which promises to attract renowned video game streamers and internet influencers. The festival will also include the HADO Spanish Championship, the world’s first augmented reality team esport. The festival will be held from July 1 to 3 at the Gran Via Fira venue.

feature Video games

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