Videogame development is booming in Croatia. New studios are founded almost on a monthly basis and the existing ones are rapidly expanding. But there’s a downside to this exciting story: it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit new talent in the industry.
The main culprit is easily identified: there is a huge technological and mental gap between what the Croatian education offers and what the contemporary young people and game development studios need.
And it’s not a small gap. Should educational system be reformed to include STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) it would take decades for first results to show.
So what does Croatia do? Instead of waiting for the abstract curricular reform that may or may not happen, an Indiegogo campaign was recently launched to place BBC micro:bit technology in every elementary school in Croatia. Croteam was just one of its many backers.
“We backed this campaign because we are selfish.” said Croteam’s CEO Roman Ribaric. “We want young people to get started with programming as soon as possible, so we can snag them to come and work with us on future projects as soon as possible.”
“It’s simple and honest, but when you consider that every other dev studio and IT company wants the same, it’s no longer about private interests.” explains Croteam’s CTO Alen Ladavac. “It’s a national interest and it’s great to see that more and more people understand this and support the campaign.”
The crowdfunding campaign raised over 200.000 USD, more than three times its initial goal in only five days, quickly becoming the most successfully funded Croatian campaign. Indiegogo campaign was launched by Croatian Makers led by family Bakic (Nenad and Rujana), a private initiative for better education.
“There’s no doubt in my mind this STEM revolution in Croatian schools will result in a lot of gifted young developers” said Croteam’s Chief Creative Officer Davor Hunski “and thanks to this campaign the revolution is exactly what we started. In fact, I’m sure many of those who’ll receive this technology today, will join Croteam on some future projects.”
Are you deeply concerned about the state of education in Croatia? There’s still time: you can back the Indiegogo campaign here.