In almost every city around the globe, digital gaming is having a moment, and Dubrovnik is no exception. The industry is currently riding an all-time high, with reports suggesting the global value of gaming will reach almost $200 billion before the year is out. Across Croatia, developments are gathering speed that could soon see the country transforming into a Central South-Eastern European gaming hub.
Dubrovnik has already cemented itself in mainstream pop culture, having been the real-life location for Game of Thrones’ King’s Landing. And now we’re ready to make our mark on the gaming world too.
Let’s look at how the industry is evolving across three key gaming industry sectors.
Video gaming is what most people think about when playing games digitally. It involves accessing remote games either through a gaming PC or laptop, using a next-gen console, or even on a mobile device. Much like the rest of Europe, the past 24 months have positively affected the sector in Croatia. With revenue projected to reach $73 million by the end of 2022. According to Statista, user penetration is expected to hit 31.4% by 2026, which translates to around 1.2 million people playing video games in the country during the next four years. Alongside the surge in gaming’s popularity with Croatian gamers, the business ecosystem of gaming is thriving.
For years, Croatia has been home to several games development companies, creating single-player games for platforms ranging from the Xbox to iOS. Croatian developers are even behind an early simulation game – Urban Jungle – developed for the Microsoft platform back in
More recently, a new business incubator has been established in the town of Novska. Offering premises and digital support to over 60 gaming development companies, this initiative will put Croatia in a hotspot for European games development over the coming decades.
The iGaming sector, which encompasses online poker, sports betting, and the online casino gaming experiences pioneered by renowned operators like PokerStars, is a hugely successful global industry. The diversity of games and activities within the sector, from digital poker tournaments to virtual reality roulette games, makes it popular with various gaming demographics.
While iGaming in Dubrovnik and Croatia is in its early stages, our transparent gaming laws make it a promising niche that could attract more and more players, international operators, and investors.
2021 brought about a new partnership between a global casino games developer and the Croatian betting platform, SuperSports, which is a vital indicator of the potential on offer within our shores.
eSports, AKA Electronic Sports, is another burgeoning sector in the global gaming ecosystem that is on track to world domination. Involving professional, competitive video gaming, eSports has surged in popularity with Millennial gamers who tune in in their millions to watch their favorite leagues and players compete for world titles in games like DotA 2 and Fortnite.
Much like the other gaming sectors we’ve discussed in this article, things are no different here in Croatia. Dubrovnik is home to its very own eSports club, Dubrovnik Ragusa Esport. Our country’s top eSports players are among the best in the world. Luca Perkovic, for example, is a League of Legends player who has generated over $500,000 playing the game on a professional basis. In Dubrovnik and Croatia, the first-person shooter Overwatch is the most popular eSports title. We have four pro squads representing us on the global stage, who collectively have won over
$12,531 in prize money. The most played game is StarCraft II, a real-time strategy game favored by single-player eSports competitors on an individual player basis.
As for the industry’s future development, Croatian eSports start-up Good Game has taken a leaf out of the USA’s book and launched a collegiate eSports tournament. The inaugural edition took place from October to December 2021 and saw eight university teams from across the country compete in games, including FIFA 21, League of Legends, PUBG, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.