Games Lift Incubator 2021: Preparing five Teams for the Challenges of the Games Industry

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Five up-and-coming game developer teams from Hamburg convinced the awarding committee with their project ideas, pitching their way into the Games Lift Incubator 2021. The incubator program starts on September 9 and aims to prepare the teams for the challenges of developing and marketing their games projects in the international markets – through start-up funding of 15,000 euros per team and an intensive three-month workshop and mentoring program under the guidance of international industry experts. With the support of the Games Lift Network, consisting of experts in marketing, pitching, business development, product development, and PR, the teams will further develop their ideas and concepts for marketable games projects. The teams will be provided with workspaces in the Hamburg co-working location “Code Working Space”. The Games Lift Incubator is organized by Gamecity Hamburg, the location initiative for the games industry, funded by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

A total of 17 teams and solo devs applied to be taken in into the second run of the Games Lift Incubator.

The five participating teams were chosen by the awarding committee, consisting of Anne Beuttenmüller (Director Marketing EMEA Niantic, Inc.), Ole Schaper (CEO & CTO Sviper), Wolf Lang (CEO Super Crowd Entertainment), Margarete Schneider (Project Manager Gamecity Hamburg) and Jens Unrau (Head of Department Media and Digital Economy at Hamburg’s Ministry of Culture and Media).

The five teams and projects in the Games Lift Incubator 2021:

  • The Invitation by tool1
  • Monstersongs VR by Denise Koch
  • PROSPECTOR by Koriol Games
  • supernightshift by consider it
  • The Treepoids by SUPERNATURAL GAMES

Anne Beuttenmüller, Director Marketing EMEA Niantic, Inc, is impressed with the wide range of projects genres from Hamburg’s developer scene: “It’s great to see the versatility and high quality of this year’s Games Lift participants. The developers and teams bring a great passion for their game ideas and concepts. In the incubator, these five teams now have a unique opportunity to work on their skills and take away valuable tips for their further path into the industry. I am very excited to see the further development of our participants.”

The five projects in detail:

The Invitation is an action-packed multiplayer loot shooter set in a future scenario of Earth in the year 2081. The team tool1 also successfully applied for prototype funding by Gamecity Hamburg.

Monstersongs VR by Denise Koch combines a graphic novel with a playable VR rock musical that takes players into a colorful world full of monsters, puzzles, and music.

In the narrative sci-fi adventure PROSPECTOR by Koriol Games, players uncover the mystery of a planet where masks are essential for survival and the game’s heroes have to build important relationships through a novel dialogue system.

In the mobile game supernightshift, the team consider it turns the city of Hamburg itself into a digital playing field in which the players have to find the best way through the city using different means of transport.  

The Treepoids by developer/designer duo SUPERNATURAL GAMES puts nature in the focus of an entertaining strategy adventure, with hand-drawn 2D graphics and lots of colorful characters on a mysterious island.

The workshop, mentoring, and coaching program of the Games Lift Incubator is put together according to the needs of the participating teams. In addition to game development topics, it covers areas such as marketing, founding a company, or project management.

In a public pitch event in December, the participating developers present the progress they have made in the incubator. Following the intensive phase of the program from September to December, the participants are supported for another year with individual coaching sessions and by an international PR agency specializing in indie games. In 2020, five teams went through the first round of the incubator program. The program is aimed at developers and founders who develop digital game ideas in Hamburg.


Among many others, these industry experts have agreed to share their knowledge as coaches and mentors in the Games Lift Network:

Heather Chandler shares her experience from over 25 years in the international games industry, during which she worked as a senior producer on the hit game Fortnite, with the participants of the Games Lift Incubator in a workshop on producing and project management.

Simon Carless – is one of the best-known consultants in the video game industry and deals primarily with marketing and business development. For the Games Lift participants, he will hold the workshop “Perfecting your Game Hook & the 10 commandments of discoverability”.

Further information on the funded projects, the Games Lift Incubator program and the experts involved are available at  


More funding opportunities through Gamecity Hamburg

In addition to the Games Lift Incubator, Gamecity Hamburg also supports developers and games companies from Hamburg through its Prototype Funding program. Each year, a total of 400,000 euros are available for games projects from Hamburg, individual projects can be funded with up to 80,000 euros as a non-repayable grant. For the first time, there will be a second round of Prototype Funding in 2021. From August 30, developers, teams, and SMEs from Hamburg are called to apply.

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