Gamecity Hamburg celebrating 20th anniversary in 2023
The Indie Treff, Hamburg Games Conference, Gamevention or Polaris are just some of the must-see events in the metropolitan region this year and offer delegates plenty of opportunities for trying out all the latest games, networking and getting insiders’ views. Gamecity Hamburg is the lynchpin to most of these events and this year marks its 20th anniversary. The initiative continues to improve the conditions for games companies and founders along the entire value chain and helps these target groups with their development while raising Hamburg’s image as one of Europe’s leading games centres.
Founders of Gamcity
Launched in 2003 as a public-private partnership by Achim Quinke of Quinke Networks and Stefan Klein, a founder of Hamburg@work, the duo showed a keen instinct for a new forward-looking market with Gamecity Hamburg from the start. Hamburg became the first German state to promote the games industry on a broad scale and even sparked the attention of the European Commission. During her visit to Hamburg in December 2007, Viviane Reding, the then EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, told the daily Hamburger Abendblatt: "The computer games industry is a driver of growth in media and becoming increasingly important thanks to the convergence of media and IT. The senate’s approach to promoting the industry is exemplary in Europe." The Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft has sponsored Gamecity Hamburg since 2018. Dennis Schoubye was appointed manager in July 2019.
Games as an economic factor
Hamburg's commitment has paid off as the industry is now a key economic factor. More than 190 companies are active in the games value chain - from studios, publishers to games-related service providers and educational institutions making for one of Europe's liveliest games centres. Some of the largest German games companies such as InnoGames, Goodgame Studios, Gamigo and Bigpoint were founded in Hamburg. Several medium-sized and small indie studios and publishers make for a diverse, innovative game sector with 2,500 emoployees.
Games worthy of support
The German government has also deemed the games industry a growth industry and by July 25, 2022 had provided around EUR 11 million for prototypes and computer games. Hamburg's funding schemes include the Games Lift Incubator for talented young professionals, founders and start-ups focusing on digital games. Last year, five teams took part in the three-month scheme backed by a network of international experts and with EUR 15,000 in funds. Six games projects benefited from the Hamburg Prototype Funding in 2022 and qualified for EUR 398,000 in non-repayable start-up funding. Since the prototype funding launched in 2020, Gamecity Hamburg has put EUR 1,240,000 in funds towards 22 prototypes.
Dates and fixtures
The Hamburg Indie Treff gets underway on February 27, 2023 in betahaus Schanze giving delegates an opportunity to outline their experiences hitherto and to network with movers and shakers in the scene. The event is open to developers and all those interested in games. Developing new games will take centre stage during the Hamburg Games Conference from March 1-2, 2023 to be held under the theme of "Invest in Games" at the Altonaer Museum. Then from May 19-21, 2023, Gamevention will focus on gaming, e-sports and cosplay in Holstenhallen Neumünster. Later in autumn, the Polaris convention will shine the spotlight on e-sports, gaming, Asian pop culture and cosplay from October 13-15, 2023 after the first event of its kind got off to a great start last year and attracted no fewer than 10,000 delegates to Hamburg's exhibition halls.