Nordic Game Discovery Contest Season IV: Next stop Malta!

It’s with great pleasure that the organisers of the Nordic Game Discovery Contest can reveal that the next qualifier of Season IV will take place at Playcon in Ta’Qali, Malta, on 4 October 2019. This is Malta’s first gave development and esports expo supported by the GamingMalta Foundation.

NGDC have teamed up with the GamingMalta Foundation – a non-profit foundation set-up by the government of Malta to promote the video gaming sector – to launch the first NGDC in Malta

“Malta is a new addition to the NGDC tour map, and we’re very excited to take the Discovery Contest to the Playcon event in Malta supported by the GamingMalta Foundation”, says NGDC host and Nordic Game CCO Jacob Riis. “I’m really looking forward to hosting this qualifier, and to meet the local developer scene. It will be very exciting to see which games will make it as finalists, and how they will perform under the immense fun and pressure that is part of pitch battling on stage.”

“We are very happy to welcome NGDC to Malta and positioning Malta as a launch pad for great games true to our mission as Home of Gaming Excellence’ says Shawn Muscat Head of Programme Implementation at GamingMalta.

The qualifier in Malta is the second stop on the NGD Season IV tour plan. The selected game will win a seat in the NGDC Grand Finals next year at Nordic Game 2020, in Malmö, Sweden, as well as prizes from Xsolla, PR specialists Plan of Attack,, and influencer marketing experts Matchmade.

Apply now!

Are you developing or have you already developed a game that deserves more attention than it’s received so far? And are you attending the Playcon Summit? If so, submit your game and prepare to go on stage for the second qualifying round of NGDC Season IV – and maybe all the way to the finals at NG20 next May.

Here’s the submission form for the NGDC Season IV qualifier at Playcon, happening on the 4 October at MFCC, Ta Qali, Malta during the Delta summit.

Deadline for submissions is 23 September 2019!

NGDC Season IV is sponsored by Xsolla, Versus Evil, Nordic Game Ventures, Matchmade,, and Plan of Attack.

Interested in becoming an NGDC partner or sponsor?

Contact Nordic Game BD director Teddy Florea to learn about some great opportunities still available for the upcoming tour.

Nordic Game Discovery Contest Season IV

Building on sixteen years of organising successful games industry activities, including the annual Nordic Game conference and exhibition, regional funding programs, overseas networking events and other developer support initiatives, we introduced the Nordic Game Discovery Contest (NGDC) in 2016 – an exciting, competitive challenge where selected game projects are showcased live in pitch competitions at partner events across the world.

Now in our fourth season, the unique contest format has been established – instead of just pitching a game the traditional way, contestants compete live onstage in an entertaining round-based battle for points.

Submit your game right here

Deadline is 23 September!

Contest format & rules:

A) The contestants chosen through the submission process will meet on-stage in a live contest, divided in to the following rounds:

Intro Round: Each contestant has to present themselves and their game.

Game Round: Each contestant has to answer questions from the judges about the presented game. These can be technical, about the gameplay, or even personal.

i. “What is most unique about your game”?
ii. “What are you inspired by”?
iii. “What part of yourself has been put into the game”?

Reality Round: Contestants answer questions about the realities surrounding the game. These can be about economics, but also personal about yourself and your team.
i. “What is your biggest strength as a team?” (objective),
ii. “Why did you form the studio in the first place”? (slightly personal),
iii. “What are your biggest dreams for your studio?” (very personal)

Final Chance Round: Contestants show a final piece of material in a last effort to sway the judges. Any material (per-prepared) may be show on screen (images, videos, GIF, screen dumps etc.) after which the audience is asked to cheer.

B)After each round, the judges will give points to the contestant who made the best impression. After the final round, a winner is found and celebrated.

C) As part of entering the competition contestants have to submit the following material via the submission form:
Game logo – A postcard format logo. Used in presentation and on printed voting cards.
Game Trailer – A 1 minute trailer showing in-game footage from the game in development.

D) If the submitter is chosen as a contestant, the following material have to be submitted as well:

“Behind the scenes” video – A 30-second mobile phone camera “studio tour” (e.g. walk through studio and wave at people, filming interesting stuff while talking). “Final Chance” Material – One (1) piece of material (gif, video, screenshots, art etc.) used for showcasing the game in the final round, and a last chance of swaying the judges. Maximum length 30 seconds.

Important notes

The judges will look at the material submitted by the contestants, so be sure that you cover the basics there, such as:

  1. What’s the concept or purpose of the game?
  2. Which features make your game unique?
  3. What’s your game’s business model, and why?

Also make sure to deliver all the basic, “hard facts” about your game, like format, present development state, control method, USP etc.

On-stage, the judges will look at your stage performance, how you present your game, and they will ask you questions based on the material submitted.


To apply, submit your game here and send it to us at Nordic Game:

Deadline is 23 September.

  1. The application form must be used and submitted in English.
  2. No parts of the form may be removed or reformatted.
  3. The application must be submitted to Nordic Game before the given deadline.
  4. The applicant must own or control the intellectual property rights to the game submitted.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email one week prior to the event if you’ve made the cut.

Games on any platform, developed by any company or single person can participate, but:

  1. Only one person can go on stage and participate in the contest.
  2. You must have a working demo of your game to show.
  3. No illegal or plagiarized content in your game (such as trademarked content, etc.).
  4. Your company is financially stable (no threat of liquidation or bankruptcy exists).

All submitted projects will be reviewed. The selected projects will be informed directly in the weeks following the application deadline, including further instructions regarding the event.

Good luck!

NGDC Background

NGDC partners with regional games industry events across Europe and abroad throughout the year to discover the most promising games with the best potential for becoming global hits. These “qualifying round” winners go on to compete for “Game of the Year” in the NGDC Finals at the Nordic Game conference, next year in May in Malmö, Sweden.

Developers, why should you participate?
With thousands of new titles released each year, the competition to get noticed is fiercer than ever. Joining the NGDC gives you a shot at getting your game discovered. Just by submitting your game to the contest, a string of experts – publishers, investors, journalists, prominent game designers and other industry profiles – will see your work. Should your team be chosen to pitch live on-stage, you’ll be sure to attract the attention of industry professionals in the audience as well.

In both the NGDC qualifiers and finals, you’ll pitch your game to an expert jury on stage before a live audience. In an exciting, round-based format, you will compete live against three other contestants, presenting your game and answering questions from the jury. If you can beat your opponents and rack-up the biggest score, you’ll be declared winner of the qualifying round – and go on to the NGDC Finals at NG20 next May. If you take the final “Game of the Year” award in Malmö, you’ll also win some nice prizes and extend your visibility globally.

For developers not able to join events on the NGDC tour, a number of wildcards will once again be chosen through an online submission process (details for NGDC Season IV to be announced).

Qualifiers: At partner events across the world – full tour plan will be revealed soon

Grand Finals (NGDC Season IV): Nordic Game 2020, May in Malmö, Sweden

Are you developing, or have you already developed a game that deserves more attention than it’s received so far? Are you attending one of the events on the NGDC Tour? If so, submit your game, and prepare to go on stage for a qualifying round – and maybe all the way to the NGDC Finals!

Get your game discovered

As a finalist, a shot at some great prizes

  • Meet potential partners and investors among the companies following the contest
  • 2 full conference passes for NG20
  • Unlimited access to the NG20 MeetToMatch system
  • A complimentary table in the NGDC Season III Finalists Expo at NG20 (27-29 May)

Launch of Malta’s Vision for Video Games Development and Esports

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat launched Malta’s Vision for Video Games Development and Esports , a vision which will pave the way for the growth of this economic sector.  ‘It is very clear where we want to arrive with this strategy. The incentives that will be rolled out are in line with EU regulation and they complement other incentives already in place. We will be putting Malta as a central hub in the Mediterranean and Europe for video game development and esports’ said Prime Minister Muscat.

The vision was presented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri who explained that the industry has so much potential in terms of value added contribution to the economy as well as the creation of new job opportunities in the ICT and the Digital Arts Sector.

Malta’s Vision for Video Games Development and Esports , aims at helping companies already residing in Malta to expand further their operations and attract new game studios from abroad. The industry currently employes around 200 employee.  Malta’s vision for the video games development aims at growing the industry from 0.1% to 1% of the GDP in 10 years whilst creating up to 3000 new jobs’ explained Schembri.

Schembri said that Malta’s vision for the video games development and esports sector includes several strategical initiatives such as A European model for tax rebates and grants to firms, Direct Grant Schemes for Innovation, A fund for the development of video games with a cultural dimension, the development of a Venture Capital Investment Fund, Investment to support University of Malta and MCAST in upgrading their curricula and investment in new facilities required for game development related courses.  It also includes a Bursary programme to attract local and foreign graduate students to further their studies with local institutions whilst working in the industry, as well as incubator space for games development Startups.

Schembri emphasized that one of the main pillars in the strategy is in fact education. ‘The video games business model is structurally different from igaming and game developers need industry led and sector specific expertise and support to be able to grow. Hence, after discussions with key stakeholders we sought into taking significant educational initiatives to sustain the existent talent pool, cater for the needs of the industry and make it easier for future generations to pursue a career in this thriving sector which is expected to continue to grow in the coming years’ said Schembri.  Consultation on these initiatives will continue in the coming weeks with all stakeholders.

Schembri also highligthed that Esports is also central to Malta’ Vision on developing its digital economy, were efforts are underway to help attract international esports tournaments to Malta.  For this purpose, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between ESL and the Government of Malta through the GamingMalta Foundation.  The MOU will serve as an intent for both parties to develop a multi-year programme to help the development of the local grassroot esport ecosystem, the organisation of local and international events as well as the sharing of expertise in the sector.

In reaction to the signing of this MOU,  CEO of ESL Global Ralf Reichert  said “We at ESL have a core mission to create esports ecosystems and we are very excited about developing the Maltese Esports together with the Maltese Government”.

Mr Jacob Visser speaking on behalf of ESL described this as a great opportunity for the development of esports in the industry and to support the Maltese government goals of fostering video gaming and the esports industry”. ‘Let’s do it together!’ said Jacob Visser.


Malta’s vision: Video game development and esports

Game on for esports industry: How to win at the fastest-growing sport around

During SIGMA18, the GamingMalta Foundation, in association with sponsor ESL, brought an international line-up of esports specialists, including global tournament organisers, business platforms and industry success stories, to talk about the momentum of this sector and where it’s heading next.


The event was chaired by Ollie Ring, Head of Media and Editor, Esports Insider.

Open for esports business

The timing and location of the Malta Esports Summit were fitting. During the same week as SiGMA, Malta’s largest esports event yet —  the CS:GO Supernova Malta Invitational — was taking place at Malta’s Eden Arena and being beamed around the world.

Further, Ivan Filletti, Head of Operations and Business Development at GamingMalta, told delegates, that following ongoing industry collaboration with Maltese officials, the government recently announced that it will make funding available to support the esports industry in Malta.

Filletti said: “We made it happen on the i-gaming front, we made it happen on the blockchain front and there’s no reason why we can’t make it on the esports front. Malta is open for business on esports.”

A whole new ball game

Eirik Kristiansen, Pixel Digital, set the context with a potted history of the growth of esports, dating back to 1972 when a video game competition was held at Stanford University. He took in key milestones such as the 1980 Space Invaders Championship, the launch of Starcade, and the release of StarCraft and Counter-Strike “which changed the face of esports forever”.

Of course, the internet speeded growth up further, followed by the real turning point – the launch of Twitch in 2011.

The huge, exponential growth the esports industry is seeing is exemplified by the popularity of the Fortnite game and the growth of League of Legends. In 2011, League of Legends clocked 1.7 million concurrent viewers. In 2018, this had boomed to a staggering 200 million.

Esports offers such huge opportunities because anyone can play, they can connect with other people online, and all you need is a computer, console or smartphone — and it’s often free to play.

Tapping billions

The esports industry is worth billions,  Kristiansen said, with sponsorship and media partnership offering the most significant opportunities for business growth.

Industry experts highlighted the critical strategies for esports success – including understanding the audience, educating the market and changing perceptions, and tapping into the right marketing channels.

Jaap Visser, ESL Benelux, shared the key ingredients for a successful global esports event, including the right arena, a focus on the fans, engaging esports stars and, of course, the game. He also highlighted the importance of working with cities and local governments around the benefits of esports events. Cultivating the esports ecosystem and bringing in new brands are also crucial.

Jesper Karrbrink, Mr Green, gave the operator’s perspective. He said his company understood that when approaching esports, they need to forget about old models and stereotypes and “learn to speak the new language” of the esports audience, such as video.

He said “It’s another beast. We can’t just add esports to the menu,” as it would waste money and talent, and it wouldn’t work.

The company has developed a new product and brand specifically for the esports audience with its own experts and marketing strategies, etc. It has a focus on responsible gaming baked in from the start, he said, and will launch in Q1 of 2019.

The fact that companies can’t just rock up and ‘plug in’ to esports was echoed by Marco Albregts, Lagardère Sports. He told delegates they need to focus on creating and adding unique value, as well as demonstrating authenticity and an understanding of esports players. He advised companies to build their credibility in the market.

One way to do this is through influencer marketing. Miranda Huybers, BRASH esports, called esports the “new vanguard” for influencers and said esports companies will need to understand and engage with the influencer world to thrive.


A key trend throughout the summit was around the convergence of igaming, esports and gambling. Speakers noted that there are opportunities here on both sides – but the message was clear: standards must be upheld and always improving. This includes keeping esports ‘clean’ and free of match-fixing and money laundering, and with a strong focus on responsible gaming.

Education and perception

Another important message that came across was that the industry must drive education about esports – in wider society, among stakeholders such as cities, and to younger generations and their parents. The experts highlighted the importance of the media as well as engagement with young people through schools and esports academies.

Koen Shobbers, an esports athlete and consultant, talked about the need to shift perceptions of esports players away from the image of unhealthy individuals sitting alone in their back bedrooms. He argued that it can be educational, too.

This discussion was taken up further on the closing panel, moderated by Alexander Pfieffer, Danube University Krems. The panellists were Kersten Chircop,; Justin Mifsud, World Pro Racing; Simon Theuma, Quickfire; and Alessio Crisantemi, Editor, Gioco.

Chircop noted that esports needs to raise its profile as a professional industry as well as a game. Although the jury is out in some quarters as to whether esports is officially a sport, he emphasised that players work and train hard to improve themselves. This can be motivational to younger generations, he said, and can incentivise them.

Where next?

It’s an exciting time for the sector. With esports growing so fast, it will be fascinating to see how the industry has evolved at SiGMA this time next year.

As Kristiansen noted: “A decade in normal time is like a century in esports.”

EC TV: The iGaming world is constantly changing, Malta Gaming Authority tell us how they manage to stay ahead

"'Malta is an island of entrepreneurs’ Ivan Filletti proudly proclaims, GamingMalta's Head of Operations and Business Development.

This week on ECTV we meet the men keeping The Malta Gaming Authority ahead of the game, Ivan Fellitti and Executive Chairman Joseph Cuschieri tell us just how since formation in 2004 the authority has managed to stay ahead and are always looking towards the future to evolve around new technologies and legislation.

The Gaming Industry has evolved from the static structure of brick and mortar casinos to the innovation of iGaming that relies on high-tech innovations to increase player interactivity and make it possible for gaming to be available anytime and anywhere.

These developments have led to new challenges when it comes to defining the conceptual legal parameters. Regulators are increasingly recognising the importance of having an effective and holistic, legislative framework and corporate structure that enables them to face new challenges head on."

The Malta Gaming Authority Publishes a White Paper Proposing Major Reforms to Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has today published a White Paper proposing major reforms to Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework. The main objective behind this proposed overhaul is to repeal all the existing legislation and replace it with a singular primary Act of Parliament entitled the Gaming Act, together with subsidiary legislation covering horizontally the main areas of regulation as well as a series of directives and guidelines issued by the Malta Gaming Authority as the single regulator of this sector. The proposed regulatory framework empowers the MGA to be more agile in its decision-making, and decreasing unnecessary regulatory burdens which are not conducive to the regulatory objectives, whilst concurrently strengthening supervision and focusing the regulator’s efforts on the areas which present a higher risk profile. Furthermore, the proposed reform proposes the enhancement of best-in-class consumer protection standards, responsible gaming measures, a risk-based approach towards regulation and wider powers for the MGA in compliance and enforcement. It also establishes objective-orientated standards to encourage innovation and development.

These proposals are underpinned by a number of initiatives which have been undertaken throughout the preparatory period for this proposed legal overhaul, including various public consultations, technical studies and economic and financial impact assessments. They also reflect the experience which the MGA has garnered from years of experience regulating the sector. Concurrently, the proposals embrace a forward-looking regulatory ethos which seeks to ensure that regulation can cater for new potential sectors whilst reacting proportionately to societal risks.

Key highlights of the changes envisaged include:

  • Replacing the current multi-licence system with a system in which there will be two different types of licences – a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) licence and a Business-to-Business (B2B) licence – covering different types of activities across multiple distribution channels;
  • Moving towards an objective-based rather than excessively prescriptive regulatory approach, to allow for innovation whilst ensuring that the regulatory objectives are attained;
  • Broadening the regulatory scope to increase MGA oversight and allow for intervention where necessary and in a proportionate manner;
  • Widening the MGA’s powers under the compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve the regulatory objectives, in line with concurrent developments on anti-money laundering and funding of terrorism obligations;
  • Segmenting the Key Official role into various key functions within a licensed activity, requiring approval, for direct scrutiny and targeted supervisory controls, thereby raising the bar for persons of responsibility within a gaming operation;
  • Strengthening the player protection framework by formalising the mediatory role of the MGA’s Player Support Unit, enshrining segregation of player funds at law and moving towards a unified self-exclusion database across both remote and land-based delivery channels;
  • Introducing new and more effective processes for criminal and administrative justice, including the allocation of appeals from decisions of the Authority to the Administrative Review Tribunal and the introduction of a distinction between administrative and criminal offences;
  • Introducing the concept of administration to protect an operation in distress and, if necessary, to assist the winding down of an operation, thereby protecting jobs and player funds;
  • Moving towards automated reporting, facilitating adherence to regulatory obligations and strengthening the Authority’s oversight;
  • Bolstering the Authority’s role in the fight against manipulation of sports competitions by introducing new obligations on operators to monitor sports betting and report suspicious bets, in line with the efforts being made by the National Anti-Corruption Task Force in which the Authority also participates actively;
  • Streamlining taxation into one flow with two main layers; and
  • Exempting B2B licensees from gaming tax, thus increasing Malta’s competitiveness as a hub for these services providers.

Queries and requests for clarifications with respect to the content of the document, as well as contributions/feedback from interested parties may be sent by email to or in writing to:

Dr Edwina Licari
Chief Officer – Legal and EU/International Affairs
Malta Gaming Authority
Level 4, Building SCM02-03,
SmarCity Malta,
Kalkara SCM1001,

Closing date for feedback on the aforementioned consultation is Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017.




Julie Meyer talks with James Scicluna. James is a Malta Advocate and a Solicitor of the Senior Court of England and Wales. He has practiced law in the UK and Malta both in private practice and as in house counsel.

“This week in association with Gaming Malta, Julie Meyer talks with James Scicluna. James is a Malta Advocate and a Solicitor of the Senior Court of England and Wales. He has practiced law in the UK and Malta both in private practice and as in house counsel.

James provides advice mainly to the Gaming, Financial Services, Real Estate and Hospitality industries. His areas of expertise are: government relations, gambling regulation, devising strategic commercial solutions within a regulated environment, IPR licensing, sport sponsorship, brand development and protection, mergers and acquisitions, international corporate and tax structuring, joint ventures, crowd funding and European Union law, especially in so far as the Internal Market is concerned. He has also acted on the financing of corporate deals with underlying investments in real estate and the trade financing of businesses in the UK.

James has held the position of Chief of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs with the Betclic Group as well as having been General Counsel of Betclic and Expekt, two of the Betclic Group’s brands. Prior to that he was a foreign lawyer and then a solicitor with London firm Jeffrey Green Russell’s (now Gordon Dadds) Company and Commercial team.

James is ranked as one of the top 50 gaming & gambling lawyers globally by Chambers & Partners. He is also listed by Who’s Who Legal in the Sports & Entertainment Category and is recommended by The Legal 500 guide as a top Corporate and M&A lawyer, as well as a top Intellectual Property lawyer. The International Financial Law Review also lists James as a leading lawyer in the M&A and R&I categories.

James is a lecturer in gaming law at the University of Malta and he speaks English, Maltese, Italian and French.”

EntrepreneurCountry Global





Julie Meyer interviewing Marcus Cordes, the Chief Operating Officer at Multi Group Limited, an international gaming company recently set up in Malta.


“This week Julie Meyer is in conversation with Marcus Cordes, the Chief Operating Officer at Multi Group Limited, an international gaming company recently setup in Malta.

Multi Group, under the Multilotto brand, aggregates betting on a host of different national lotteries and provides a seamless experience across their web platform, enabling users to take part in as many lotteries as they wish, all within one account. Jackpots available include EuroMillions, EuroJackpot and America’s MegaMillions and Powerball draws.

The global industry is huge, at around €300 billion, so Multilotto is part of a much bigger ecosystem. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has provided a robust and innovative license that provides Maltese licensed companies a low friction environment in which to setup, operate and grow.

Multilotto’s headquarters are located in St Julian’s, Malta. Already home to 25 employees, the company has ambitious expansion plans and are looking to increase their numbers to 75 by the end of 2017. Recently, the MGA chairman inaugurated the new St Julian’s offices and this clearly demonstrates how and why iGaming companies grow in Malta.

The gaming sector in Malta contributes over €1.2 billion to the Maltese economy and provides employment to a large number of Maltese and international staff.”

EntrepreneurCountry Global

Entrepreneur Country has teamed up with the GamingMalta Foundation.

Entrepreneur Country has teamed up with the GamingMalta Foundation on a series of ‘Home of Gaming Excellence’ interviews with key players within the igaming eco system.

GamingMalta is a proud sponsor of the ‘Follow the Entrepreneur Investor Summit Malta’ on the 10th and 11th July at Westin Dragonara Resort.


Everyone has a story to tell and Anton’s is particularly interesting. He left IBM in 2008 and moved to Malta with his young family to take over the data centre business CSL Data Centre Services, which was at the time a traditional IBM AS400 reseller on its last legs with 4 remaining engineers and a handful of customers!

His job was to save the business or close it down. Foresight plays a role in the direction one takes however no one has a crystal ball. In 2010 he developed and launched a Cloud Services Model similar to AWS which was a first in Malta for customers, the regulators and my competition. Today CSL owns and operates 3 Data Centres in Malta with a total capacity of 2000 square meters of rack space, which are ISO27001 certified & employ 32 people.

The company gained a lot of experience the last 7 years building Private Cloud & Shared Cloud Platforms serving 100+ customers in the iGaming & Financial Services sector. This experience helped Anton understand the pain as well as the excitement startups go through and that is something he believes everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime!

EntrepreneurCountry Global



Identity Malta to service the gaming sector at our Smart City offices

In collaboration with Identity Malta we invited HR personnel and employees from the gaming sector to our Smart City offices Friday, 17th February 2017 from 9am to 2.30pm.

This initiative will focus on providing the gaming sector with a personalised service from  Identity Malta, to process individual requests on a one-to-one basis.