December 20, 2022
2022 in Review
2022 was a big year for us at Gamecity Hamburg as we saw the return of in-person events, a new convention in Hamburg, great projects in our funding programs and so much more! We want to take the last slow business days of the year as an opportunity to look back and offer a sneak peek at what's ahead of us for 2023.
Established favorites, be it major industry events like gamescom or our very own event highlights like the Games Lift Graduation, finally returned as in-person events, but we also kicked off entirely new own events like the Pitch Level Up and saw the all-new Polaris Convention in the Hamburg Messe enriching the local gaming scene. But we didn't just spend the whole year attending or organizing events - we also of course actively supported the local games industry through our programs. Read (and see) what's been going on this year for Gamecity and in Hamburg's games industry:
By the way, if you always want to stay up-to-date about our current activities in the upcoming year, subscribe to our monthly newsletter!
Building networks and connections
But let's stick with the first topic: In 2022, we got together with a lot of people from the games industry and beyond! Here's a quick overview of the most important events for us this year.
Bringing together Games and Local Politics: The Senator's Roundtable
We kicked off the year with an event that might have flown below most people's radar: The Senator's Roundtable on January 31. With this yearly event, we bring together decision-makers from Hamburg's games companies and politics, most notably our Minister for Culture and Media, Dr. Carsten Brosda, to discuss current topics and promote the understanding of needs and processes on both sides.
The Hamburg Games Conference 2022
After 2021's fully digital Hamburg Games Conference, this year's edition returned with a hybrid model and was the first opportunity for many of us to meet the industry in person again. Over 600 international guests joined the conference either on-site at the new gaming house RCADIA in Hamburg, or aboard the digital conference platform built by Super Crowd Entertainment. Read our full recap of the HGC 2022 with lots of photos here.
By the way, the 2023 edition of the Hamburg Games Conference will take place on March 1 & 2 at the Altonaer Museum in Hamburg, get your ticket here. First speakers are also already announced, find out more on the conference's website.
Gamecity Treff - Networking at the Grüner Jäger
Another occasion on which we could finally come together and see a lot of familiar and new faces of the industry again: our Gamecity Treff series! At the end of April, we joined up with Hamburg Music to bring the games and music industries closer and had a blast at the Grüner Jäger club with all of you! On October 30 we held a second Gamecity Treff, just in time to get everyone who was in town for the Polaris Convention involved as well. Both events were sold out entirely - we love your enthusiasm! Find our photo galleries of the events here: Gamecity Treff meet Hamburg Music (April), Gamecity Treff meets Polaris (October)
Showcasing Hamburg's indie game scene: gamescom and Polaris
But in 2022, we did not only host in-person events ourselves again - we were also very happy to attend trade fairs and expos, bringing some awesome indie games from Hamburg-based studios with us. In August, everything revolved around gamescom - and at our booth at the lovely Indie Arena Booth, we offered five studios the chance to present their games to a broad audience. Read more about Gamecity at gamescom 2022 here. November then marked a premiere: The all-new Polaris Convention brought together communities around gaming, e-sports, Asian pop culture and art in the Hamburg exhibition halls. We certainly couldn't miss that and presented six more indie games from Hamburg at our Gamecity Hamburg booth. Find out more and browse a photo gallery of Gamecity at the Polaris Convention here.
Re-start after 2-year-break: The Games Compass
November then saw the return of a successful cooperation: Together with InnoGames, we invited leaders and decision makers from the games and media industries from Hamburg and beyond. More than 70 of them came together for an evening of networking at InnoGames' Town Hall, exchanging their views on the current state of the games industry and forging new connections. Learn more about the Games Compass events here.
Support and funding for Hamburg's game makers
New rounds of Prototype Funding and Games Lift
Actively supporting up-and-coming studios and devs from Hamburg remains at the heart of our mission. In 2022, we again organized our funding and support programs Prototype Funding and Games Lift Incubator. Six promising games projects received 398,000 euros this year to support them in developing a first prototype of their games - and one of them even already managed to land a publishing deal in the same year! Five more teams from Hamburg successfully participated in our Games Lift Incubator program this year, intensively working on their concepts for three months with the support of an international network of games industry experts, 15,000 euros in funding and more. You can get an impression of what they achieved through their final presentations at the Games Lift Graduation.
New event: Pitch Level Up
But what happens after you've successfully mastered the first milestones of developing your game or even finished a whole prototype? Right: Pitching, pitching, pitching to convince publishers, investors or public institutions to support your project. For everyone in this project phase, we developed a new event concept: The Pitch Level Up. In May, we invited eight games industry experts who gave valuable 1:1 feedback on the pitches of more than 20 dev teams. In total 89 devs, game makers and students attended the event to hear expert talks and participate in the 1:1 sessions.
Portfolio Slam: Game Art
Speaking of Feedback: In cooperation with our sister initiative Design Zentrum Hamburg and our parent organization Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, we also hosted a Game Art edition of their established event series "Portfolio Slam". Four young game artists got on stage and presented their portfolios in front of an audience and got feedback from a jury of experienced game artists. Read more about the Portfolio Slam Game Art here.
Sharing knowledge and insights
While we were very happy to meet many of you in person again, we also continued to organize our several online event formats that we developed over the past two years. The focus of the events is the exchange of knowledge and insights into different parts of the games industry. In four new editions of our Game Starter series, seasoned games industry professionals gave interesting insights into their job profiles for career starters - covering Game Animation, UI & UX Design, User Research and Narrative Design. We also continued our event series Gamecity Impulse, that discusses the topics of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in games and the games industry. We're very excited that one of the most recognized researchers in this field, Adrienne Shaw, held her talk "15-ish years of studying representation in games" for this series. Last but not least, we also hosted a new edition of our XP Boost series, where three experts shared their insights about using TikTok to promote indie games.
► All of our online events are available for you to re-watch on our YouTube channel.
Our online events this year
What will 2023 bring us?
With this eventful year in mind, we look towards next year with joyful anticipation, which will be particularly exciting for us: Gamecity Hamburg will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2023! In the last 20 years, Hamburg has seen a number of transformations. As one of the major games industry locations in Germany, we want to continue to build on what has made the industry thrive so far. We have already cooked up some highlights for this occasion, so stay tuned!
We are delighted that the first highlight of the year will already take place in March: The Hamburg Games Conference 2023 with the topic "Invest in Games" on March 1 and 2. We support indie studios or teams from Hamburg, who can still apply until January 30 for our "Road to Hamburg Games Conference" program: https://gamecity-hamburg.de/news/road-to-hamburg-games-conference-2023/.
We continue our support with our funding programs Prototype Funding and Games Lift, where we will be looking forward to many more fascinating ideas and pitches from Hamburg's games industry.
So stay tuned for an exciting 2023! See you then!
P.S. If you always want to stay up to date about our activities and what's going on in Hamburg's games industry, you should definitely subscribe to our monthly newsletter!