According to data from PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026, gaming is booming, and the expansion of the video game sector is expected to make the global industry worth $321 billion by 2026. At this year’s Roc Game Fest in Rochester, community members were able to share their love for gaming and game development with others.

Since 2017, the Rochester Game Festival has been working to boost the profile of game development in Rochester.

“Everybody here is making their own games whether it be tabletop games… or the video games,” Rochester Game Festival organizer John Scalzo said.

The festival has grown so much since 2017 that it is now hosted inside the Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Spell Studios.

“It’s the entire game development community,” said digital games hub coordinator for MAGIC Spell Studios, Dennis Mccorry. “We’ve got students, we’ve got local ND devs and professionals all come together to share their love of games and their games.”

“There’s a lot of game development going on locally here in Rochester,” said Jesse O’Brien, professor of film and animation at Rochester Institute of Technology. “And so we’re really trying to highlight that and give an opportunity for local game developers to show their work and to engage with the community.”

It’s an industry that is growing quickly worldwide with millions of people playing video games.

“I mean really everybody plays games, you know it’s something everybody does,” said Scalzo. “You’ve just got to find the one that they like. And that’s hopefully what we can do with this. We can show people that there’s a giant variety of games.”

The festival included over 45 game developer exhibitors, showcasing game development from all over New York state as well as local RIT students.

“Seeing that like gives me motivation to continue doing game development and just programing in general,” said designing and development student Omar Morales-Saez.

The event aimed to prove that there really is a game for everyone.

“Men, women and everybody -- everybody loves games now,” O’Brien said. “It’s not just for one group of people. It’s for everybody. And there’s a game for everybody.”