Diving into EMEA and Turkiye gaming trends with Umut Ersarac, Account Executive, AccelByte

Umut Ersarac has announced his new role as Account Executive (EMEA) at AccelByte on LinkedIn. Previously, he served as Senior Business Development Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS) for Turkiye and MENA (MENAT), where he forged strategic partnerships with game developers, studios, and publishers across Turkiye and MENA and advocated for AWS cloud solutions and AWS for Games.

We contacted Ersarac to discuss his new role at AccelByte, his primary goals, and his thoughts on the future of the gaming industry in Turkiye and the EMEA regions.

What factors influenced your decision to join AccelByte, and how do you think this role will contribute to the company’s goals?

Working in the gaming industry has been my childhood dream. Playing games has always had a special place for me, so I have always prioritized doing something for everyone who develops and publishes games. In this direction, AccelByte’s services and solutions tailored for game developers and publishers piqued my interest.

AccelByte provides the technological infrastructure behind studios like Krafton, Build a Rocket Boy, 1047 Games, Dreamheaven, Theorycraft, and AEXLAB. Additionally, it has over 300 employees, mainly engineers, worldwide. It has received $70 million in investment so far, with big names like Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), Galaxy Interactive, and NetEase among its investors.

Being both in the gaming world and having the startup spirit allowed me to pursue my childhood dream. As someone who prioritizes “gaming” in my life and daily routine, I aim to quickly reach every platform AccelByte wants to access and deliver our solutions and services to all studios in need. Thus, I want to increase its awareness and usability by ensuring that AccelByte handles the critical game backend services for game studios. 

Umut Ersarac, Account Executive (EMEA)

What are your primary goals in this position?

I started at AccelByte in May 2024 as a Technical Account Executive. In my role, I focus on conveying AccelByte’s solutions to game developers and publishers in the gaming industry. This way, while game developers and publishers focus on their games and projects, AccelByte’s services, solutions, and support packages provide them with technical infrastructure support.

My focus areas in this role include game studios, game publishers, and other game-focused entities (game tech companies, investors, incubators, and accelerators) in Turkiye, MENA, and Caucasus regions, primarily focusing on EMEA. 

Umut Ersarac, Account Executive (EMEA)

What key trends do you think will shape the gaming industry in Turkiye and the EMEA region over the next few years? 

Before discussing trends, there are three points to remember. Without these, I don’t think it’s possible to reach the desired point, no matter which trend you follow or try to apply: 

  1. Do not lose your passion for game development and playing! 
  1. No matter what your game idea or platform is, do not forget the players! 
  1. Games are as successful as the feelings and memories they leave with players!  

I have been playing games for about 35 years, starting with the C64 and diving into the console world with the Famicom (NES) and SNES. Therefore, PCs and game consoles hold a special place for me. These platforms will increase in popularity with the penetration of indie developers, well-structured live-service multiplayer games, and handheld consoles into the market.  

Another important trend is that Web3 games are progressing with blockchain technology. Compared to the games and processes when they first emerged, I observe that much more solid, grounded, and player-friendly productions are being prepared now. I believe this trend will continue to be among the most important game trends.  

Increasing internet connection speeds, more stable wireless/wired internet connections, and the advancements in cloud service providers’ technologies have made “cloud gaming” popular. I think many manufacturers will shift their hardware-based processes to this side in the future.  

One of the most important topics of recent times, AI, has been in games since the first game was released. However, integrating generative AI technologies into game development, testing processes, player protection, and, most importantly, as one of the in-game mechanics will be a trend we have seen and will continue to see soon. I also believe it is essential to follow the development of AR & VR, the status of headsets, and games aimed at XR technologies.  

While the trends above progress similarly in almost every region of EMEA, it seems that the momentum in countries with a high focus on mobile game development, such as Turkiye, is shifting a bit more towards PC/Console/Web3. Although mobile games continue, I think they are experiencing less growth than when hyper-casual games peaked. 

Umut Ersarac, Account Executive (EMEA)

Ersarac holds a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from Hacettepe University. He began his career as a gaming editor at MerlininKazani.com and later served as a Technology Consultant at Servus, Enterprise Solution Executive at Vodafone, Sales Specialist at KoçSistem, and Corporate Solutions Sales Professional at Turkcell. Additionally, he held roles as Technical Account Manager at Esri Turkiye and Inside Sales Account Manager at Dell.

In 2019, Ersarac joined AWS as a Territory Manager. Within three years, he advanced to Senior Territory Manager and subsequently assumed the role of Senior Business Development Manager for Games at AWS, overseeing the Turkiye and MENA (MENAT) region.

About AccelByte

AccelByte provides a comprehensive white-label backend for game studios to develop, publish, and operate games as a service. Leveraging years of combined experience running large-scale game services, they built their technology from scratch to bring AAA-pedigree game services to everyone. They help game studios enable cross-platform play and progression and seamlessly allow crossover between titles. They are a one-stop shop for online game services.

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