International gaming expo GIST 2019 kicks off in Istanbul

Published 01.02.2019 00:14

The international entertainment and gaming expo Gaming Istanbul (GIST) 2019 started in Istanbul Thursday.

This year, the fourth edition of the event covers an 18,000-square-meter area at the Eurasia Show and Art Center.

Gaming tournaments with the prizes, cosplay contests, events for professionals as well as a playground, a shopping and retro-games areas will highlight the four-day event.

The event is also being attended by video game and technology giants like Dell, HP, Sony, Fortnite, Nintendo and Microsoft.

Several professionals and experts from the sector will deliver speeches at the GIST conferences.

Last year, more than 90,000 people visited the expo, while over 100,000 visitors are expected to visit it this year.

Small-scale game developers and firms are opening booths freely to become part of the expo.

The expo was organized by France-based GL Events, which has so far arranged over 4,000 international events, including the 2012 London Olympics and Cannes Movie Festival.

The digital gaming industry has boosted its exports by more than 100 percent over the last two years, hitting $1 billion in exports last year, up from $500 million in 2016.

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan recently confirmed the Turkish gaming sector was valued at $750 million. She also said last year, the global gaming sector reached $138 billion, and this figure is expected to hit $180 billion by 2021.

Pekcan underscored that the ministry plans to support the sector so that it can claim a bigger share in the $180-billion global gaming industry.

The digital game sector also benefits from the TURQUALITY, which is the first and only state-funded branding program in the world - formed in 2004 - to ensure that Turkish companies exporting goods around the world gain a competitive advantage by boosting branding potential.

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