“Valencia Game City will position the city as a leader in the Spanish gaming industry”

Our June partner is Valencia Game City, the initiative launched by the Valencia City Council as part of the Valencia Innovation Capital initiative to boost the local video game and esports industry and position Valencia as a leader in the sector. Already 30 companies have joined the project, and it is expected to double the number next year. It counts on an investment of 150,000 € and the direction of Arturo Castelló, CEO of Encom, with an extensive experience organizing events and competitions in the gaming industry, hardware and technology. His resume includes the celebration of more than 10 editions of the successful DreamHack in the city, the largest digital festival in the world, which this year gives a twist in Valencia. 

Hello Arturo, can you give us an overview of Valencia Game City and its main objectives? 

Valencia Game City is a public-private initiative aimed at consolidating Valencia as a leading hub for the video game and esports industry. Its main objectives include strengthening the local industry, fostering innovation and education, promoting tourism and culture, boosting technological development, and using video games and esports as tools for social inclusion. 

What inspired the creation of this project? 

The need to structure a local video game and esports industry with little structure, avoid talent drain, and take advantage of lost opportunities due to the lack of consolidation of previous associative trials. In addition, the social recognition and maturation of the industry together with a tangible and real political will motivated this initiative. 

How does this initiative fit into the city’s broader innovation and economic development strategy? 

Valencia Game City promotes the integration of technology and digital culture in various areas, including health, sports, education, tourism and art. It also fosters public-private collaboration and the creation of a dynamic ecosystem that attracts investment and talent, in line with the Valencia Innovation Capital framework project.   

What are the key milestones and timelines for the development of Valencia Game City? 

Part of the key milestones would be the creation of a corporate identity and the launch of a communication plan, the implementation and dynamization of the Valencia Game City space in La Harinera or the creation of the Chair of Esports and Active Gaming. Other highlights would be the organization of trade missions to international fairs in the sector, the organization of networking and outreach events and meetings here in Valencia. 

What resources and partnerships are being used to support this initiative? 

We have resources such as the La Harinera Innovation Center, which serves as a work and networking space, an economical line for the development of the program and a network of professionals, industry experts, business associations and collaborating entities. 

How are local companies and startups being involved in this initiative? 

Local companies and startups can participate through collaboration networks, events, and networking opportunities. Valencia Game City also promotes group participation in international fairs and events, the launch of awards and challenges related to video game development, and inclusion in training programs and seminars. 

What impact do you expect it to have on the local economy and the work market? 

Valencia Game City is expected to boost the local economy by attracting investment and creating employment opportunities in the video game and esports sector. In addition, it will foster the training of highly competitive professionals and promote the development of emerging technologies, which will contribute to economic growth and job creation in the region. 

How will this initiative enhance Valencia’s reputation nationally and internationally? 

Valencia Game City will enhance Valencia’s reputation by positioning it as a leader in the video game and esports industry, promoting the city as an attractive destination for large-scale events and festivals, fostering collaboration with similar hubs in other cities and countries, and attracting companies and professionals who choose Valencia as a destination to locate. 

How do you see the gaming industry in Valencia in the next 5-10 years? 

It is expected to be even more consolidated, with significant growth in the training of talent, the development of new technologies, and the attraction of investments. Valencia could become an international benchmark, not only in terms of video game and esports production, but also in technological innovation and cultural development. 

What are the biggest challenges ahead of you? 

Promoting the creation of sustainable companies in the video games and esports sector, attracting companies to settle in Valencia, raising awareness in Valencian society about the relevance of this industry, and connecting local talent and gaming companies with the challenges of the city. Addressing these challenges is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the initiative. 


Talent retention  

As Arturo Castelló mention in the interview, one of the objectives of Valencia Game City is to retain the talent trained in our city. We are not only talking about quantity, but also quality. Have a look to some facts about these two international schools in Valencia:  

Escuela Superior de Arte y Tecnología (ESAT):

This private school has positioned itself as the 1st video game school in Spain, 4th in Europe and 7th worldwide, according to the ranking prepared by the American GAMEducation. Focused on art, design and technology, this university trains professionals in Graphic Design, Video Game Programming, Computer Game Animation, Interactive Digital Graphic Design, Architecture and Building and Landscape Architecture. It is in great demand internationally and has a large practical component.  

Universal Arts School:

International animation and design school with campuses in Valencia and Hollywood that offers masters, double masters and degrees. It specializes in Animation, Video Games, Digital Cinema and Art. With a clear practical approach, several sources rank it as the 15th best animation school in the world, and the first in Spain.  


OWN Valencia, the gaming event of the summer    

As part of the Valencia Game City initiative, this major gaming event is set to debut in the city this summer. Inspired by DreamHack, the objective is putting gamers at the forefront again, while delivering an even more immersive and memorable experiences with cutting-edge technology. This event is not only a delight for fans but also a hub for the local and international gaming ecosystem and innovation. It will serve as a catalyst for industry development, fostering connections and driving growth. 

Some of the highlights of the program that will take place in July (5 to 7th):  

– LVP-Liga de Videojuegos Profesional Superliga doubleheader. 

– VALORANT Finals 

– OWN Connect (B2B professional talks),  

– First edition of the Phygital Games in Spain. 

– Podcasts 

– Unreal Series Fornite 

– VR Masters Final 

– Open tournaments of Pokèmon, Tekken…  

– Women’s Gaming CUP,  

– SIM Racing…  


The video game industry has been shining for years in Valencia, and with the help of Valencia Game City the projection promises to be meteoric.