Professional Services
Order outsourcing

Gamedev in Turkey: Fast Growing Market Between the Middle East & Europe

80 Level Team did research to learn more about the game development industry in Turkey. This report defines some unique features and development directions of the local market and uncovers what is like doing business there.

Flagship projects of the region are mobile games. Some games on the Top 10 charts of the App Store came from Turkey (examples: Basketball Arena, Deep Clean Inc. 3D, Jelly Dye) and some industry’s big studios (Crytek and Voodoo) opened their offices in the country. The valuable and “ripe for the expansion” nature of the Turkish game development business becomes undeniable.

Even though Turkey is almost always considered part of the Middle East, the country is usually excluded from the group of countries in the region under the MENA identifier. However, the term MENAT explicitly includes Turkey. It’s interesting that Turkish developers interviewed for our research emphasized that the industry in their country is oriented toward Europe and they identify themselves as belonging to Europe more than to the Middle East or Asia.

Muhammed Ahmet Çiftçi, Founder | Valentware Games LTD

Game industry in Turkey is a little different from the Middle East one since it mostly follows the European (especially French) business model. Turkey looks like France in terms of mobile gamedev.  Turkish small studios are focused on ad monetization models. Many companies publish their games through Voodoo.  As for PC games, it’s a little different, the country tries to make its own unique way.

Interviewees note that in some cases local Turkish developers do not have enough experience to create commercially successful and popular games. In search of missing knowledge, most of the developers turn to major foreign publishers like Voodoo, Rolic Games, Lion Games. Developers appreciate the advice and contribution of publishers to their companies’ success greatly.

Doruk Hasdoğan, Co-Founder | Easy Clap Games

The most important part is a good publishing base. A publisher that we can trust and be sure that it will give our game a decent chance of success. The publisher will cover the parts of expertise we lack.

Turkey is in a protracted financial crisis. The national currency weakened by 44% against the dollar in 2021 and fell another 27% percent in 2022. Economic trends have an impact on game development. The vast majority of developers are focused on making a profit in dollars/euros as more stable and safe currencies from foreign markets. Orientation to the domestic market is unprofitable.

Gamedev is an advanced industry with relatively high salaries in the country. For some, this job has become a ladder to the middle and upper classes. At the same time, due to the deteriorating standards of living in Turkey, many qualified specialists relocated abroad.

Arda Kaptan, Game/Product Manager | Suji Games

The currency exchange from the USD to the Turkish Lira is complicated. If you are looking for senior developers and they know what is going on with the economy, they would ask for a bigger wage in the Turkish currency. It’s way easier for foreign companies to find senior staff since they pay in dollars or euros. If you are a Turkish company working with Turkish workers, the salary expenditure will be higher.

The Turkish banking system is highly regulated. Any mediator has to prepare their infrastructure in a certain manner and obtain a banking license. According to Turkish laws, payment providers should share all their data about payments/transactions that happened from/to Turkey if requested by the Turkish government. PayPal hasn't worked in Turkey since 2016, as well as many other payment providers. The most popular payment method in Turkey is a bank card.

Muhammed Ahmet Çiftçi, Founder | Valentware Games LTD

Many payment methods like PayPal are illegal in Turkey. So, you should have a credit card to buy something including refilling Steam and making in-app purchases.

Turkey is a promising region for the growth of the game development industry. Taking into account local specifics, there could be found excellent partners, and opportunities for revenue increasing.

Join discussion

Comments 0

    You might also like

    We need your consent

    We use cookies on this website to make your browsing experience better. By using the site you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more