In this article, Erdal Sarı, COO of Game Factory, the unique incubation centre for game developers, explains why it wouldn’t be surprising to see a new «‎unicorn»‎ in the Turkish market segment.


Erdal Sarı said in an interview with AA that Turkey had felt the giant leap that has brought the game industry to the global market after selling Peak Games for $1.8 billion in June 2020. With that, Peak Games was able to become Turkey’s first unicorn.

Foreign investors have turned their eyes to the Turkish gaming industry in the last 2 years. Turkey welcomes such deals. These are inflows of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash. In addition, companies are still operating in Turkey and providing employment in our country. In other words, such acquisitions are important for the accelerated growth of the sector.

Erdal Sary, chief operating officer of Game Factory

In late 2020, Sary said Game Factory became Google’s first and only gaming partner in the world as a dedicated incubation centre. The company has attracted more than 5,000 people and 70 game studios to the sector in 3 years.

Turkey has 42 million players

Erdal Sarı noted that the Covid-19 outbreak has also significantly impacted the growth of the Turkish gaming industry.

The number of players, which was 30 million in Turkey in 2018, will reach 42 million by 2021. Today, every second resident of Turkey plays games. Young people who are interested in games, as a consequence, are also interested in product development. Therefore, investments are also increasing. The economy has also improved, so more investment is needed in product development.

Erdal Sary, chief operating officer of Game Factory

To make better use of investments, pay attention to the distinctive characteristics of Turkish game developers rather than the features of the games themselves.

Turkey has been creating a game culture for years. So young people are not only interested in making games, but also in playing them. The more games a company makes, the more games will succeed; consequently, more game studios will get investment from abroad. Today, there are 3,000 game studios in Turkey.

As of 2021, the global game market has reached $175 billion. To better understand this figure, let us remember the example of the film industry. In 2021, the international movie industry market was $76 billion. If we ignore the effects of the pandemic, the global game industry was $144 billion in 2019, and the movie industry was $113 billion.

Asia-Pacific accounted for 50% of that «‎pie»‎, North America 24%, and Europe 18%. Turkey has $1.2 billion in revenue. In the first six months of 2022, Turkish gaming startups received $333 million in investments, making it the most invested European country in this segment. The Turkish gaming industry received $236 million in assets in 2021 and $13 million in 2020. The investment is expected to exceed $500 million by the end of this year.

Side note: Mobile games bring in more profits than consoles and PC combined.