CGA’s Casual Connect: Europe East 2007 gathered professionals of casual games industry from both sides of Atlantic to outline the directions for the future market growth
Absolutist helps building a bridge between casual game industry pros from East and West
Kyiv, Ukraine October 17-19, 2007 – The second yearly conference organized by Casual Games Association and Absolutist Ltd. took place and gathered 530 industry professionals and pioneers from 157 companies.
Casual Connect: Europe East is aimed at bringing together the most talented experts in the casual gaming field to further the casual games industry and provide for match-making, experience sharing, and strengthen relationship between Eastern-European industry insiders and large-scale game developers and publishers from USA and Western Europe. Due to the doubled number of attendees in comparison to CGA Europe East 2006, and participation of such big international market players as OberonMedia, MumboJumbo, BigFishGames Inc., iWin, and many others, CGA: Europe East proved the heightened interest in the skyrocketing industry of “little games”.
With more and more customers and investments coming into the casual games industry, it is becoming of utmost importance to have gatherings of industry professionals like Casual Connects frequently. Due to visa challenges and remoteness of US or Western Europe, many of the Eastern European developers who produce a substantial volume of games, are unable to participate in Amsterdam or Seattle Connects thus losing the possibility to exchange and share experiences with their counterparts, that is why Ukrainian show is essential as it helps bridging this geographical and formal gap between the West and the East. And our company is very happy to work so closely with CGA on this conference. We also both hope to raise the local awareness of the industry and make the governments pay attention to the needs of game developers in Eastern Europe, who can help the local economies grow at faster rate. – says Alla Khramtsova, CEO of Absolutist.
As part of CGA: Europe East 2007, Innovate 2007 event took place. Innovate 2007 is a contest of the concepts for casual games organized and sponsored by a large Russian casual game developer and publisher, IT Territory. A jury consisting of the most experienced industry professionals judged dozens of titles currently in development in order to spot the most promising and innovative ones. This is the first industry event aimed at giving the public attention to the independent game developers and cultivating incentive through substantial cash prizes for innovating in casual games. We are pleased to announce the winners of the contest:
1. Twinkle Toes Skating by Hanako Games, UK
2. Picnic Police by Pretty Good Games, USA
3. Magic Circles, Nokolay Kuzmin, Russia
Special nomination winners:
1. Most Innovative - Dangerous High-School Girls in Trouble by Mousechief Co., USA
2. Most Addictive - Magic Circles by Nikolay Kuzmin, Russia.
3. Best Character - Halloween Night - Pumpkin Match by EleFun Games, Russia
4. Best Story Development - Lex Venture by WarpTag, Brazil
5. Best Production Values - Cradle of Persia by Awem Studio, Belorus.
In the West, casual game developers from Eastern Europe are often thought of as outsourcing shops: cost-effective, perhaps, but not very creative. Helping to judge this contest revealed another side of the casual game scene here... one where games from Russia and other Eastern European countries can stand against titles from all over the world and be competitive in both quality and innovation. Congratulations also go to IT Territory for putting their pocketbook on the line to reward new ideas, in an industry that is becoming increasingly repetitive- says Jason Kapalka, founder and CEO of PopCap Games who acted as a jury at Innovate 2007.
Helen Kovalyova of Absolutist/ WellGames shot a CGA: Europe East 2007 conference movie. View CGA: Europe East 2007 conference movie here.
For more information about CGA: Europe East 2007, as well as for free audio podcasts and photos please visit: http://kyiv.casualconnect.org
Absolutist Team and Casual Games Association will be pleased to see everybody at CGA: Europe East 2008.