Pegged at $100 billion, the gaming market is the largest sector in the global entertainment industry, attracting more than 2.2 billion players across a wide range of platforms and formats. This lucrative market creates rich opportunities for the Israeli tech ecosystem, which in the 21st century has played a vital role in the development of new gaming technologies – capturing the interest of foreign investors, leading gaming companies, and players alike.
Two major acquisitions in recent years have put a spotlight on Israeli gaming tech. In 2016, a Chinese consortium acquired the social gaming company Playtika for $4.4 billion, with the consortium citing Playtika’s impressive growth, focus on innovation, and data analytics capabilities as key selling points. The following year, Australia-based Aristocrat acquired the gaming developer Plarium in a $500 million deal.
Why are companies around the globe increasingly willing to pay big bucks for Israeli gaming technologies? The answer lies in the strengths of Israel’s vibrant tech ecosystem, including advanced sensor technologies, big data analytics, computer vision, AR/VR, video analysis, IoT, adtech, and much more. These technological capabilities have made Israeli firms an integral part of the global gaming sector, including the following companies:
·Edgybees, a leader in real-time collaborative visual intelligence technology, highlights the broad spectrum of applications for some of Israel’s most inventive gaming solutions. The AR startup, whose Collaborative Visual Intelligence Technology™ targets users in the public safety, emergency response, automotive, and broadcasting sectors, remains rooted in its gaming origins, with AR-based military training and auto safety solutions, as well as the DronePrix AR game, available on iTunes.
·Ayayu Games specializes in “hyper-reality” VR content and games, targeting clients including VR arcades, theme parks, content distributors, and other businesses looking to integrate VR solutions. The Tel Aviv-based company, founded in 2018, developed VR-Man, which enables users to play, control, and communicate with virtual reality action figures.
·Woojer’s haptic feedback solution is designed to allow users to fully immerse themselves in AR/VR worlds. The company’s wearable device measures and reproduces bass frequencies and delivers tactile sensations, making virtual worlds come to life.
While Israeli gaming tech is already garnering global attention, the local industry isn’t resting on its laurels. Through initiatives like MindCET, which focuses on facilitating innovation in educational technologies – including many gaming-based educational solutions – the local ecosystem is supporting entrepreneurs and cutting-edge companies through accelerator programs, community dialogue, and R&D support. With Israel ranked first in the OECD for gross domestic spending on R&D, the country is well-positioned to remain a leading player in the very technologies that have fueled the rise of its robust gaming tech industry.