What is Israel's role in the global gaming industry?

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Xsolla President Chris Hewish talks about the biggest trends in gaming, cultural differences between American and European gamers, and how Israel fits into the global gaming market.

Gaming monetization company Xsolla launched operations in Israel in April, bringing various services to local game developers. During that time, Xsolla’s Justin Berenbaum and Sam Gaglani paid Start-up Nation a visit to further explore opportunities in the local ecosystem.

Global video game market revenues are expected to reach over $221 billion by the end of 2023, with mobile games having the largest market volume with revenues of more than $172b. The Israeli market continues to grow as a part of that ecosystem, with estimated revenues of more than $427 million by year’s end.

Xsolla President Chris Hewish talked to The Jerusalem Post about the biggest trends in gaming, cultural differences between American and European gamers, and how Israel fits into the global gaming market.

From your experience working with developers in the US and Europe, what would you say were the biggest trends in gaming over the last year?

Working with American and European game developers over the past year, we have seen some astounding improvements, such as the growth of cross-platform game usage, greater interest in cloud-based gaming platforms, and comprehensive social elements within today’s interactive landscape.

Despite critically examining environmental factors, game developers are aware that success depends on offering unique yet thrilling experiences for players worldwide. Sustainability practices are driving indie gaming communities higher than ever before. The importance of inclusive game design is growing as developers work to include players of all abilities and portray a variety of cultures in their narratives. This is made possible by technological advancements, so Xsolla is pleased to support creators who push the boundaries of technology.

 GRIME promotional image. (credit: CLOVER BITE)
GRIME promotional image. (credit: CLOVER BITE)

What kinds of trends should we expect to see in the industry this year?

This year’s many noteworthy developments are furthering the Metaverse, as creators experiment with new forms of related content that go beyond the confines of traditional video games. Subscription services offering access to a library of games for a fixed monthly charge are anticipated to gain widespread popularity as the number of people who own smartphones increases and mobile internet speeds improve. We also foresee a rise in the use of NFTs and blockchain technology in games, making it possible for developers to implement novel ways of making money off of their creations. We hope to see a continuous dedication to making games featuring people, themes and settings that reflect the diversity and inclusivity the gaming industry strives for.

How would you describe the differences between American and European gaming at the moment?

Comparing the rising expansion of the American and European gaming industries offers important insights into how different cultural quirks translate into various gameplay experiences worldwide. Numerous contributing factors significantly impact the landscape of this ever-expanding industry across regions, from subject matter selection to production methods to player preference.

While many memorable video games played around the world are inspired by one ancient legend, American game developers place more emphasis on contemporary issues affecting Americans today, such as pop culture trends or controversial political barbs. The populace’s attitude when sitting in the player’s seat greatly influences their gaming choices.

There are considerable differences in gaming preferences between different geographic areas. European gamers like strategy and simulation games with deep story lines, whereas American players favor first-person shooters with lots of action.

As for Israel – where do you think the Israeli gaming industry fits into the global gaming ecosystem?

Israel has differentiated itself by making significant recent advancements across various elements of contemporary video game design, despite being relatively minor compared to well-known worldwide marketplaces like Europe or America’s Game Development community.

Another feature generating headlines recently was their significant influence on properly offering top-notch quality products focused on Mobile gamers one after another while supporting local economies through successful business ventures.

The innovative Game Network infrastructure on which the adtech market sub-sector primarily relies to provide analytical data metrics and customer acquisition benefits and grow the local scheme, while competing against global industry leaders frequently results in sizable rewarded corporatized Investments along with successful Acquisitions. Israeli game creators, studios, start-ups, and IT corporations are increasingly collaborating with foreign businesses; this is a relatively recent trend.

Given Israel’s exceptional workforce’s wealth of technical know-how and unparalleled creativity, both crucial building blocks for creating long-term success, it is not surprising that these well-known international organizations have chosen to collaborate with Israel. As time passes, their cooperation is mutually beneficial, further solidifying Israel’s standing as one of the major global hubs for developing video games.

What are the biggest opportunities for Israeli gaming developers this year? What are some of the challenges they will face?

This year, the opportunities for young Israeli game makers are limitless. Innovative business owners have many opportunities to develop engaging experiences globally thanks to expanding global markets accessible through mobile platforms and partnerships with well-established international gaming outlets.

In addition to the difficult task of obtaining vital capital that enables them to transform their notions from concepts on paper into reality, these visionaries must contend with fierce competition within a cutthroat sector. Israeli game makers face a complex web of data privacy laws and content limitations when attempting to expand their abilities outside their native market.

Israeli developers can establish a perfect workplace that attracts top talent and frees them up to concentrate on innovation and quality with the help of Xsolla. Through our investment and partnership programs, we can secure funding and resources for game development while ensuring compliance with regional laws and regulations through our platform. Israel is currently one of the hotspots in the gaming industry due to its growing number of tech specialists and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

As a result, many regional studios are looking for new methods to engage with gamers worldwide, but doing so necessitates overcoming some particular challenges. Enter Xsolla, a company that provides developers looking to enter new markets outside of their native country with anything from efficient payment processing options to all-encompassing marketing solutions.

The best part is that we’re dedicated to assisting Israeli game developers in developing settings that draw and keep top industry talent, which is essential for remaining competitive in today’s gaming business.

Moving forward, we are committed to establishing a solid presence, expanding our network, and supporting both the emerging ecosystem and enterprise-level companies.

By focusing on best practices, data, examples, and specific solutions like Web Shop, Payments, Payouts, and Funding Club, we aim to captivate our audience and become a top priority for the market. 

We will collaborate with GameIS, visit the market every quarter, and carefully position ourselves as valuable partners for these intelligent and well-established organizations.