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Wales’ Gaming Industry Is on the Rise 

The gaming sector has established a strong foothold in the country, with competitive gaming, game development, and entertainment options on the rise. Wales’ esports governing body just secured funding to bolster the local esports sector, while a prominent US gaming company recently set up its European headquarters in the capital. Meanwhile, an increasing number of gaming venues cater to the growing gaming community in the country. 

Professional Gaming: Esports Wales Secures Funding

Playing video games competitively has seen a tremendous surge around the globe and has long also found its footing in Wales. Esports Wales was founded in 2018 and governs and develops the esports industry in the country. The organisation pushes the sector forward, offers training for athletes and teams, and runs esports tournaments. It has just become a member of the European Esports Federation, further strengthening its position in the industry. In January, the organisation managed to secure £50,000 in funding from Media Cymru to support its “Esports Wales: A New Game Plan for Wales” project. The company has invested in 23 other businesses, all from the tech and media sector, in an attempt to turn Cardiff into a hub for the media sector and place Cardiff on the global market’s radar. The funding comes just a year after the Welsh Esports League and its official clubs were introduced, which will now have the means to grow further and continue to establish esports in Wales. 

More Companies Are Creating Games in Wales

The developer scene in Wales has also seen growth. Last year, as reported on Herald.Wales, US video game company Rocket Science Corporation, known for its work on Call of Duty and Fortnite, set up its European headquarters in Cardiff, with the Co-CEO stating he hoped to make the capital “the next great UK gaming hub.” Fuelled by a £825,000 investment from the Welsh government, the move is aimed to boost the gaming ecosystem and help develop the gaming industry in the country. The government has proven its commitment to bolstering the sector and supporting local talent. The number of developers in the country has increased, growing from less than 100 in 2020 to over 140 in 2022. Some big and known players create games in Wales, including Wales Interactive, which has gone on to release internationally known FMV games that blur the lines between games and films. Boosting the local developer scene, Games Talent Wales is a grassroots talent development programme that offers industry mentoring to help independent game developers succeed in Wales. 

Locations and Offerings for Gamers in the Region Grow

Meanwhile, the variety of gaming locations in Wales is increasing as interest grows among the population. At the end of last year, Newport Market opened Shuffle & Oche, an interactive games area boasting shuffleboard, interactive darts, and retro arcade games including Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Taking the arcade nostalgia to the next level, the NQ64 arcade bar in Cardiff offers retro arcade machines and consoles in a neon-splattered venue where everything, including the menu, is gaming-themed. More game machines are on offer at the Les Croupiers Casino in Cardiff, also known as “The Croups.” The long-running establishment offers a large selection of traditional slot machines alongside its table games in an elegant and welcoming atmosphere. The casino caters to the growing interest in these classic games, which have seen a resurgence thanks to the emergence of online casino platforms. Many of the best-rated providers from different areas around the world as listed on CasinoBonusCA offer large selections of slot games online, as well as bonus offers allowing new players to get started with more ease. This has made these traditional games more easily accessible and driven their popularity. 

The same can be said about classic tabletop games, which have seen a rise in popularity. While many table games such as board and card games can nowadays easily be played online, playing the analogue versions locally with friends is becoming more popular. Board game cafés have emerged in the process, with Social Dice and Common Meeple in Swansea, Chance and Counters in Cardiff, and Hearthside in Abertillery being a few examples where game enthusiasts come together to play. With these offerings and more, Wales boasts plenty of options for the growing gaming community.

The gaming sector in Wales is on the rise, with promising developments bolstering the country’s gaming ecosystem for the future. From esports funding and large gaming companies to entertainment options for gamers, Wales is set to establish itself as a gaming hotspot.