More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft
More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

Games Lift: Meet you at the top

For its 2023 edition, the Games Lift Incubator launches with a new space, new concepts, five brand-new teams - and with years of experience.

If there is a single moment when the Games Lift Incubator 2023 really starts, it is this one: In the new office location SPACE, Nenad Slavujevic takes his place next to a huge screen, smiles, and makes eye contact with the audience. His five years of experience in the industry become evident in his short pitch. The project of his studio Monodot is called "Chaos Royale", and Nenad wastes no time in getting to the point. "Vampire Survivor x Binding of Isaac x Battle Royale" is written in italics on the screen. 

Nenad Slavujevic presents "Chaos Royale" at the Games Lift Kick-off event in SPACE

Five teams have been selected to participate in this year’s Games Lift Incubator. By design, they cover a wide spectrum. Team sizes, backgrounds, genres, and goals of each project are different. 

At the SPACE, the variety is instantly apparent when the next project takes the stage: "Map Map" is a cozy game following in the footsteps of "Geoguessr". Pipapo Games are a team of four and take turns while presenting their title. Project Manager and Environment Artist Clara Müller starts by introducing the unusual concept, then Game Designer and Programmer Lukas Hort follows up: He explains the core loop around exploring, measuring, mapping and placing buildings.

Games Lift keeps getting better 

The Incubator has become a fixture of Hamburg’s gaming scene. A remarkable twenty-four teams applied this year. Just being able to attend is a proof of success. Each of the projects has an original direction, an unusual twist, a unique idea. 

Bagpack Games are developing "We the Valarii", a co-op racer with innovative controls. Markus Koepke's "Journey Beyond the Edge of the World" is a moody first-person adventure with a special focus on his self-made music. And "Dottobeau" is a gorgeously illustrated adventure that turns changing the mood into a game mechanic. 

After giving their presentations, the teams huddle, asking questions and handing out compliments. But a certain tension remains palpable. The Games Lift Incubator is a demanding support program. This first meeting marks its beginning. The plan for the coming weeks includes breaks and time off; space the teams need to take on big challenges. They all hope to make important steps in their projects. 

Many of the workshops in the program have been refined through experience. New names have been added, such as Chris Zukowski, known for his highly regarded program "How to Market A Game". And the many speakers returning incorporate learnings from previous iterations of the Incubator. While biz dev expert Cassia Curran draws on her management experience at NetEase and Jagex, she looks at each team individually. Some workshops divide teams into groups to facilitate this approach. 

Room for ideas 

This year, the Games Lift Incubator can put a new emphasis on working together – with a new location. The open offices of SPACE in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt have been an excellent setting for the kick-off event. It will remain available to the teams during the Incubator. Numerous startups from out of Hamburg's the local creative industry have already booked in at Am Sandtorkai. The location offers open spaces, opportunities for retreating into a more concentrated setting, and good coffee. Flowing colors and variable furniture serve as a reminder to search for a new perspective from time to time. And a short climb up the stairs leads to the roof terrace with a clear view of the horizon. 

The teams in discussion with the mentors; Photo by Jan-Marius Komorek

But we will have to wait. Now, the teams are hard at work. In a few weeks, we will begin to present them and their projects in more detail. Until then, the teams have workshops to complete, projects to develop and learnings to take in. Their plans are big. Now, they are put into practice.


Games Lift Kick-Off 2023 in New SPACE Innovation Rooms

On Monday, September 11, 2023, the official kick-off of the Games Lift Incubator 2023 took place in the new SPACE innovation space of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft.

Road to Polaris - Gamecity Hamburg brings 5 indie games to the convention

From October 13 to 15, Polaris, Hamburg's new community convention dedicated to gaming, anime, manga, and Asian pop culture, will open its doors for the second time.

Recap: gamescom 2023

gamescom 2023 was a blast once again – we met some people we rarely see throughout the year otherwise, made new connections and, most importantly, enabled five studios from Hamburg to present their games at the shared Gamecity Hamburg Booth at the Indie Arena Booth.

Hamburg: The Right Place for Your Next Career Level

Hamburg is home to a vast and growing games industry landscape, with over 200 games companies and roughly 2,450 people working in the games sector. Let’s introduce you to the vast amount of companies, educational programs and resources for reaching your next career level.

How to: Make the most of gamescom 2023

For some new members of the industry gamescom 2023 might be their very first visit at the biggest German gaming convention and one of the most important games events worldwide, while others might appreciate a quick refresher on what's going on at gamescom. It's big, it's crazy and it's a lot of fun! Let's take a look at how you can make the most of it as a business visitor.

Road to Polaris 2023 - Apply until August 28

The community convention Polaris takes place on October 13-15 with a three-day program including gaming, e-sports, anime and manga, cosplay, and content creation. Gamecity Hamburg provides free booth packages for Hamburg-based developers, teams, and studios. This way you can present your games, prototypes and demos to the audience and collect direct feedback from your target groups. Applications are open until August 28!

InnoGames Forge of Empires generates one billion euros in lifetime revenues

In 2012, the Hamburg-based developer studio InnoGames launched their strategy hit Forge of Empires, which is still enjoying huge popularity more than 11 years after release. Now, Forge of Empires has surpassed one billion euros in sales. A huge milestone for InnoGames, which shows that successful games can generate significant profits even after years.

Three Questions to: Tiny Roar on their partnership with AONIC

Tiny Roar has become a small institution here in Hamburg since its founding in 2015, both with their original titles, such as their current project "Wanderful" and through collaboration with other studios. This week they announced their partnership with the Swedish investor AONIC, who is now the majority shareholder of Tiny Roar. We took this opportunity to speak to one of the two founders, Maurice Hagelstein, about what this news means for the studio and its future.

Bigpoint celebrates 20 years anniversary

With titles like Farmerama, Seafight and DarkOrbit Reloaded, Bigpoint has been a leading player in the games industry in Hamburg and beyond and is celebrating more than 20 years anniversary! We took this amazing opportunity to talk with Managing Director Michelle Zou about the company and future developments.

Neurodactics releases math learning app Mambio

2021 the Hamburg math learning app Mambio by neurodactics GmbH was supported with 39,273€ with Gamecity Hamburg's prototype funding and 1,172 360€ from the BMWK and has now successfully celebrated its final app release on June 26.

The five winning teams of Games Lift Incubator 2023

Games Lift 2023: These are the five teams

For 2023, five great teams of Hamburg game developers impressed the awarding committee of the Games Lift Incubator with their exciting projects.

Gamecity Hamburg and Hamburg game studios at gamescom 2023

Gamecity Hamburg brings five indie studios to the next gamescom 2023 from August 23 to 27. Find out more about the indie teams at gamescom 2023 and our Road to Program.

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