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"Israel and Turkey are leading the Middle East gaming industry"

Gaming conference

"Israel and Turkey are leading the Middle East gaming industry"

Eitan Reisel, Founder and Managing Partner at vgames, was talking on a panel at the Calcalist gaming conference in which he was joined by Adam Fisher, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, Eze Vidra, Managing Partner at Remagine Ventures and Roi Karo, Chief Risk and Strategy Officer at Fireblocks

Maayan Manela | 15:18, 14.09.23

"If I had to invest a billion dollars to turn Israel into a gaming powerhouse, I would invest in education and the infrastructure that enables entrepreneurs and programmers to succeed here in Israel," said Adam Fisher, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. He made this statement during a panel discussion moderated by Elihay Vidal, Editor-in-Chief of CTech, at the Calcalist gaming conference held in partnership with Playtika and Google. Fisher emphasized, "I believe in the free market, and I think that money alone cannot build a successful business. Creativity and the ability to thrive in a competitive environment are essential."

Eze Vidra, Managing Partner at Remagine Ventures, shared a similar perspective, stating that he would invest in education and provide the necessary infrastructure for future entrepreneurs to succeed. However, if he were to invest a billion dollars in the gaming industry, he would prioritize establishing a top-notch studio capable of releasing high-quality games.

Gaming panel. Gaming panel. Gaming panel.

Eitan Reisel, Founder and Managing Partner at vgames, emphasized the importance of content creators in the gaming industry and mentioned that he would allocate most of the funds towards supporting individuals who produce gaming content. On the other hand, Roi Karo, Chief Risk and Strategy Officer at Fireblocks, expressed his preference for investing in collaborations.

Reisel pointed out, "Israel is already a gaming powerhouse, although its full potential isn't always recognized. It significantly contributes to employment, tax revenues, and GDP. Companies like MoonActive and Playtika, along with cloud-based enterprises, make substantial impacts. We are actively investing to foster the next generation of gaming innovations. While some areas are still underdeveloped, it's just a matter of time. Israel and Turkey are leading the Middle East gaming industry."

Vidra emphasized that games contribute significantly to app store revenues, accounting for 60%. He also highlighted the potential impact of gamification on other industries. Vidra noted, "Israel is already a major player, but there is untapped potential for gaming investments in Israel. Opportunities abound in blockchain, cloud technology, gaming, AI, and more. Entrepreneurs, funding, and companies will continue to emerge."

Regarding Fisher's involvement in gaming investments, he mentioned, "We have been investing in the gaming sector for a long time. In Israel, we have been involved for two and a half years and have invested in five studios. The next generation will engage even more with gaming, making it an integral part of our lives, transcending age groups. This offers Israel a unique global exposure and accessibility. Gaming is not limited to those with technology backgrounds; it appeals to a wider audience."

Reisel discussed the competition for consumers' time and attention, drawing parallels between games and streaming services like Netflix. He explained, "A game is like a never-ending Netflix series. We are all vying for consumers' time and attention, as there are only a finite number of hours in a day."

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Karo addressed the distinction between blockchain and crypto, highlighting blockchain's potential to revolutionize various industries. He said, "Blockchain introduces new possibilities across payment systems, banking, asset management, and more. While gaming is a part of this broader movement, it can leverage virtual currencies and assets effectively."

Vidra expressed a more cautious stance regarding the adoption of Web3 concepts in gaming. He stated, "While Web3 and the metaverse hold great promise, their widespread adoption will take time. We must prioritize creating enjoyable games over implementing Web3 technologies."

The discussion also touched upon the transfer of digital assets between games. Reisel expressed reservations, stating, "I'm not a big fan of the concept. It's crucial to differentiate between technology and the concept. Some funds have heavily invested in Web3 without considering other sectors. Fortunately, we have invested wisely in entrepreneurs who excel in game development. I'm unsure whether transferring assets across games aligns with the gaming industry's closed economic model."

The panel also discussed the competition between mobile gaming and console gaming in the coming years. Fisher noted, "A CEO from one of the major gaming companies once said that people will play games on any device available, even on kitchen appliances. As Israel expands its presence across various gaming genres and opens more companies in different categories, the appetite for success in this field will soar."

Vidra added, "While mobile gaming contributes to growth, cloud gaming holds the potential to transform the industry. Once we solve the challenges of cloud gaming, it will unlock a new realm of opportunities and make the gaming market even more profitable."

Karo emphasized that blockchain technology can be integrated into games, even if the entire game is not built on the blockchain. He stressed the advantage of being an early adopter and a pioneer in exploring new opportunities.

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