The state of Turkish gaming ecosystem – 2022

Türkiye was the largest gaming hub in Europe in the first half of 2022.
A woman playing a video game wearing a VR headset

In collaboration with the Turkish Government (Invest in Türkiye division), Startups Watch produced an extensive report on the current gaming ecosystem in Türkiye. The report —dubbed The State of Turkish Gaming Ecosystem— dives deep into the history of gaming in the country and explains how the success stories in recent years are shaping the industry’s future.

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The report explores how the video game industry in Türkiye was barely considered a business sector a little over 10 years ago and how the country became the largest video gaming hub in Europe this year. According to the Gaming Snapshot for Türkiye v1.2 Infographic, the country is housing over 522 gaming startups, 10 gaming incubators, 13 gaming accelerators, and a gaming cluster.

Over the last four years, the Turkish gaming ecosystem has seen two unicorns, Peak Games which was acquired by Zynga, and the fastest unicorn of Türkiye, Dream Games. The report puts Türkiye as the second largest gaming ecosystem, only behind the UK, basing the position of the country on various reports provided by game industry experts. Considering the growth rate, potential, and untapped talent pool, the country has the potential to become the largest gaming ecosystem in the upcoming years.

Top 5 Turkish video game industry exits

The Turkish video games industry saw multiple major exits over the last four years, some catching the eye more than others.

The nine-figure exits of the Turkish gaming ecosystem started in 2018 with Gram Games being acquired by Zynga. The following year saw Izmir-based Masomo being acquired by Miniclip. Zynga acquired Peak for a record deal, and within the same year, Rollic too was acquired by Zynga, only 21 months after its launch. The latest entry to the list is Alictus, which was acquired by SciPlay back in March 2022.

CompanyDealYearAcquired by
Peak$1.8 billion2020Zynga
Gram Games$250+ million2018Zynga
Masomo≈ $200 million2019Miniclip
Rollic$180 million2020Zynga
Alictus$100 million2022SciPlay

Graduate and undergraduate programs focused on gaming

The report also considers one of the current major problems that are in the way of moving the gaming ecosystem of Türkiye to the next level: Closing the talent gap; retaining and motivating talented developers and visual designers in gaming studios.

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To tackle these issues, Türkiye’s gaming space is facing both undergraduate and graduate programs focused on gaming launched departments at universities with video game development in focus. A number of gaming startups also started their own programs to train talent.

Six universities in Istanbul, with a total of 10 across the country (Bahçeşehir, Beykoz, Doğu Akdeniz, Hacettepe, İstanbul Aydın, İstanbul Bilgi, İstinye, İTÜ, İzmir Ekonomi ve ODTÜ) currently offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs to provide new and eager talents to the Turkish video game industry.

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