Twenty Years of Supporting the Games Industry in Hamburg

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Hamburg is one of Europe’s gaming hotspots; 2,500 people are working in over 190 game companies in the city. Since 2003, the location initiative Gamecity Hamburg is supporting the industry in the name of the city of Hamburg and was thus the first public funding institution for the games industry at the state level in Germany.

Since 2018, Gamecity Hamburg is part of the city-owned Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft. For its 20th anniversary, the location initiative plans several events and activities to spotlight and celebrate the local industry. To kick the festivities off, industry stakeholders look back on the development of the Hamburg games industry and cast a glance into the future.

“Hamburg is one of the top locations for the games industry,” the Minister of Culture and Media, Dr Carsten Brosda, said. “We owe this to a highly creative network in the city that recognized the importance of the games industry early on and developed the vision of a ‘Gamecity’. With the Gamecity Hamburg initiative, we have been creating a suitable environment for the games industry for 20 years. In the future, we also want to ensure that the industry in Hamburg finds sufficient talent and the potential for further growth in the Hanseatic city through a large network and good opportunities for education and training.”

“A diverse ecosystem of the games industry has developed in Hamburg with companies such as InnoGames, Goodgame Studios and the Applike Group; some of the largest games companies in Germany are located here,” the Head of Gamecity Hamburg, Dennis Schoubye, said. “The lively scene of Hamburg game studios also includes other well-known names such as Daedalic Entertainment, Bytro, Fishlabs and Rockfish Games. Gamecity Hamburg has established itself as a central point of contact for all games companies and founders, both for financial support and for access to the strong network in town.”

Gamecity Hamburg currently supports the local industry with two funding programs, the Prototype Funding program and the Games Lift Incubator, for which a combined sum of €520,000 is available annually. In addition, Gamecity Hamburg is offering a number of events such as the international Hamburg Games Conference, the ‘Gamecity Treff’ – a meet-up for all participants of the industry, which was established in 2003 –  and other programs to connect the industry and further the exchange of knowledge.

“Hamburg recognized the potential of the games industry early on and created Gamecity, a ground-breaking games support program,” the Managing Director of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, Egbert Rühl, said. “I am particularly pleased that the energy of the early years has now returned under the sponsorship of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft. Together with the entire games ecosystem, Gamecity is successfully working to expand Hamburg as a games location and prepare it for the future.”

“The games industry has become an integral and important part of Hamburg’s economy. The support provided by Gamecity Hamburg with funding, networking events and political initiatives was and is immensely important in this regard,” the Managing Director of Mooneye Studios and a spokesperson for the regional representative office of game Hamburg – The German Games Industry Association, Tobias Graff, said.

Gamecity Hamburg will also share stories from the past two decades of the local industry throughout the year on its online channels. A first impression can be gained from the anniversary video, in which insiders recap the evolution of the industry.

20th Anniversary in 2023: Gamecity Hamburg celebrates the Hamburg games industry

To celebrate the anniversary of the games industry in Hamburg, various activities and events are planned to look back on the last decades, but especially to look forward to the future of the games industry in Hamburg. On April 20, there will be a Senate reception at the invitation of Dr Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media. Numerous guests from the German and Hamburg games industry are expected at Hamburg’s Town Hall. With 20 years of runtime, the games industry meet-up ‘Gamecity Treff’, is a solid institution in the German games scene. The industry and all interested parties can look forward to a jubilee edition of the ‘Gamecity Treff’, to which Gamecity Hamburg invites on May 24. The ‘Gamecity Treff’ is supported by sponsors Bigpoint, Bytro and The Sandbox.

Interested parties can also make a note that the ‘Gamecity Treff’ meets Polaris on October 13, which is adjacent to the Hamburg Community Convention Polaris, with the kind support of the sponsors InnoGames and AWS for Games. Further public events are already being prepared and will be announced throughout the year.

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