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EPIC Hosts Global Game Jam Armenia for the 5th Consecutive Year

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On January 29-31, 2021, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) and Noor Games jointly organized the Global Game Jam (GGJ) 2021 for the fifth consecutive year. 

Global Game Jam is an annual international computer game development hackathon organized worldwide since 2009. It is the world’s largest computer game creation event that brings together people to explore new technology tools and develop a new game within a short time span of 48 hours. The jam starts when participants assemble on a late Friday afternoon to watch a brief video keynote address that is broadcast around the world. Leading game developers share their insightful advice and then disclose the game theme. All sites worldwide are then challenged to develop games based on that theme by Sunday afternoon. This year, the GGJ was organized online due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, more than 28,000 game creators in 104 countries at 585 virtual sites around the world participated in making over 6,000 games.

This year’s theme was “Lost and Found,” and participants approached it with immense creativity. In Armenia, GGJ 2021 gathered 57 participants who created 12 games. Although the number of participants was lower than in previous years, the quality of the games was improved over prior years.

“GGJ Armenia is one of the brightest and most popular events held at AUA. We are looking forward to hosting it again next year albeit the sleepless nights forming teams and creating fantastic games,” mentions Lilit Hakobyan, EPIC communications coordinator. “EPIC is happy to be involved in a global event where so many talented individuals and teams gather in one place. We would also love to see those teams engaged in our startup incubator.” 

“We believe that the game development industry has great potential in Armenia. It can make a significant contribution to the development of Armenia’s economy, creating jobs for professionals in various fields. The market for hyper-casual games alone exceeds $1 billion. A successful hyper-casual game is often created by 1-3 people in a short time, and such games can earn millions of dollars. One of those games might be created during a Global Game Jam Armenia,” says Narek Aghekyan, founder and CEO of Noor Games. 

At the end of the event, a demo of the games was streamed online. You can find more information on the Global Game Jam website.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.

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