The IT industry, especially its segment of the development of video games for computers, consoles and mobile phones, has reached turnover in the amount of hundreds of billions a year in the world, while in Montenegro it is still in its infancy.
Nevertheless, in our country, especially in the last few years, there has been an expansion of this industry, so an increasing number of Montenegrin citizens are interested in this sector.
The opening of our country to IT companies, of which there are more and more, and the creation of preconditions for the arrival of digital nomads, as well as the recently held European Championship in e-football, put Montenegro side by side with much more developed countries in this sector, he said in the interview. For Dan Filip Šoć, president of the Electronic Sports Association of Montenegro.
- When you add e-sports, on the one hand, and traditional sports, on the other, those two industries are close in terms of earnings. Traditional sports tried to resist e-sports, but world federations have now changed their stance. There are even plans for e-sports to appear at the Olympic Games. Montenegro, as a tourist destination, should position itself as a gaming destination and thereby contribute to the development of the country. Sweden, for example, has a gaming hotel. Just imagine if we, as a country that offers both a beautiful coast and skiing in the mountains, would manage to bring these people to us – said Šoć.
He points out that Montenegro should learn from countries that have profited from these sports, such as Indonesia, where the e-football World Championship was recently held in Bali.
- Many people wonder how it pays to invest 15 million euros in such an event. Eight million euros were invested in the organization alone, while seven million were given for the license. But what is a particularly positive effect is marketing; all those players who come are very popular on social networks, and the “rich” was up to two billion people. It costs five cents to reach one person, and when you multiply that by the number of people reached, we get 100 million in social media earnings. But the real benefit is, in fact, the promotion of Bali as a tourist destination in the off-season, which followed the G20 meeting held there – Šoć said.
He adds that such events attract strong companies and sponsors, so Indonesia’s success can be ranked side by side with the World Cup in football organized by Qatar.
– The state should firmly stand by this industry, because we have the potential to be in the top five European countries in gaming. The development of the IT sector should be a priority, in combination with tourism. A long-term plan and laws, in the synergy of these sectors, will certainly bring improvement to the entire society and economy, and we will also extend the season – emphasized Šoć.
What used to be unimaginable is the sale of heroes from games, but now there is also serious money involved.
- The game “Dota” has the largest prize pool, which is based on the sale of heroes. Players create them themselves and at a certain point they can be sold, which can earn huge money. Often a hero can be sold for a thousand or several thousand euros, but there are also examples when they were sold for several million euros. Let’s say video game commentators also make huge sums of money, I’m sure more than traditional sports commentators. “Teken” commentators earned about twenty thousand euros each in Bali in ten days, plus accommodation expenses, which speaks of the seriousness of the industry – points out Šoć.
He pointed out that this industry is related to many others, but that the earnings in gaming are much higher.
– A professional gamer can earn thousands of euros per month, and if he signs a contract with a company to sponsor him, or with a big club, he can earn much more money. Even semi-professional players can earn an average monthly salary, but all that requires a lot of effort and investment – said Šoć.
Belgrade and Croatia profit greatly from gaming and IT
The industry of game production brings huge profits, and the world’s most famous festival “Ribut” is organized in San Francisco, Cologne and Dubrovnik.
- We hope that maybe one day we will also host this festival in Montenegro. The festival gathers big world brands from this industry and the participation of the exhibitors alone costs several thousand euros, plus accommodation and food costs. Only during the duration of this festival, about 20 billionaires and hundreds of millionaires stayed in Dubrovnik, who were there for rest and enjoyment, but also for potential investments in this industry – said Šoć.
He points out that Belgrade and Croatia have long since become centers of gaming and IT, and that Montenegro could take over that model and become an attractive destination throughout the year, local media reports.