The Philippines is stepping up efforts in carving a sizeable niche of the estimated US$18.4 billion European games industry market and in further promoting the country as an investment destination of choice in the games-related services sector for international game development companies as the country’s industry players are set to participate at the GAMESCOM 2016 in Cologne, Germany next month.

Showcasing their games-related services and products to international companies at GAMESCOM include Altitude Games, GameOps Inc., Job and Esther Technologies, Inc., Synergy88 Digital Inc., Transcom, and Zeenoh.

The industry players’ participation in the international event is organized by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) through its International Investments Promotion Service jointly with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Berlin and the Games Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP).

Slated on August 17 to 21, Gamescom is Europe’s largest platform for the European computer and video game industry. It is organized by the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software, bringing together developers, publishers and other stakeholders to showcase their upcoming games and game-related hardware and to promote business and collaboration. Measured by exhibition space and number of visitors, last year’s edition gathered over 345,000 visitors and 700 exhibitors from 88 countries.

“The participation of our industry players in GAMESCOM further enhances the country’s image not only in the German market, but also in the international gaming industry as the event is expected to host the presence of other international global players, particularly in the European region,” said Philippine DTI Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Nora Terrado.

The video gaming industry is not new to the Philippines as the first game produced in the country was made back in the 1990s. “There are quite a number of gaming companies operating successfully. Recent The presence of the country’s industry players at GAMESCOM will further build stronger networks that can contribute to the country’s goals in pushing for the potential of the game development industry,” she said.

The Philippine participation in GAMESCOM is in line with the key objectives, strategies, and plan of action of the Philippine Video Game Industry Roadmap crafted and being implemented by the industry through GDAP.

Specifically, the country’s participation aims to promote the Philippines’ competencies in developing end to end games and game-related services such as art, programming and support outsourcing to international companies that have an established need for such service. It also seeks to encourage international video game development studios to explore the opportunity of establishing business activities in the Philippines as well as develop strong network of “International Industry Professionals” that can contribute to the country’s goals.

“Growing the presence of international game development companies and even increasing their outsourced work in the country is expected to transfer expertise, advance the talent and capabilities of our local industry which is the main focus of the industry roadmap. In the medium to long-term, such efforts will lead to the development of our local video game industry into an internationally competitive player in the global scene,” Usec. Terrado said.

The European games industry’s revenue reached an estimated US$18.4 billion in 2015, accounting for about 20 percent share of the total global market, with Germany being Europe’s #1 largest game market in terms of revenues generated and ranked fifth in the world with a total of US$3.7 billion.

Presently, the Philippines is only generating estimated annual revenue of US$100 million, mainly offering various services to international game developers and producers. “With the viability of this business in the country, there is an impetus to support growth for our local industry,” she said.

Apart from the GAMESCON participation, the Philippine Business Delegation will also have roundtable meetings, exclusive networking meeting with key international game developers, and business-to-business meetings.

The BOI has led similar investment promotion activities for the industry in the United States, Canada and Asia since September 2014 which already reaped benefits.