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

Games Lift: More Successful Than Ever

It’s high time to apply for this year’s Games Lift Incubator. The next round is already gearing up. Meanwhile, the program has proven its worth: It is developing success.

Just a few weeks ago, Anca Tutescu, Jan Barow and Julian Heinken from Symmetry Break stood on a big gala stage to receive the german game industry’s most prestigious trophy: The DCP Award. And the team behind the Games Lift Incubator couldn’t be prouder. Symmetry Break have earned their success alone, but Gamecity Hamburg was able to support the studio with advice and cash beforehand. Symmetry Break not only received prototype funding for their innovative adventure Misgiven, they are also alumni of the Games Lift Incubator of 2021.

The presentation of the “Deutscher Computerspielpreis 2024” in Munich was successful – especially for Hamburg. Four trophies went to Gamecity, and Misgiven prevailed in a particularly competitive category: it was awarded as the year’s best prototype. Notably, another team of Games Lift alumni did also get a nomination: Amberdive Interactive, with their coop shooter REPLICORE.

Just ask developers

Success stories happen when good things come together. In Hamburg, good education meets a supportive and tightly knit dev scene. The Games Lift Incubator is an important part of this formula – just ask the alumni! The VR experts at Curvature Games (The Amusement) tell us that Games Lift provided them a kickoff that they “cannot recommend enough". Team Dottobeau (Dottobeau) confirm that the incubator has "helped us a lot". And tool1 (Absolute Matter) emphasize that the Gamecity team really knows "what indies need help with".

While it is still up to the devs themselves to earn recognition and awards, the Gamecity Hamburg team is eager to offer them tailor-made assistance. The program is approaching fast: Interested teams can apply right now. Applications close on June 10.

Applicants unsure what to emphasize can heed advice from awarding committee member Heiko Gogolin: "A good game idea is always just the first step. Ultimately, applicants need to be able to show a realistic plan, explaining what their milestones are, when they hope to reach them, and through which means".

It keeps getting better

The Games Lift Incubator team is excited for what comes next. Every year, different teams arrive with a different set of experiences, projects and needs. Meeting them always means developing the program accordingly and finding suitable solutions. And even on a general level the incubator continues to learn. Feedback from alumni and from the rich network of Gamecity Hamburg are the basis for continuous further development.

An important new step awaits applicants before the program gets underway: the diversity checklist. It is intended to encourage teams to critically question their structures and processes. This mandatory step is meant to create awareness of an important topic. Gamecity Hamburg wants to help enrich the diversity of the games industry – and encourage teams to ask these important questions early on in the project.

New teams can also look forward to a flexible coaching budget. They can invest 1000 euros in the the kind of support that’s needed most for their individual project. Teams may be looking for concrete tips on the pitching process; others might benefit from business advice or a lesson on how to cut a trailer. Gamecity Hamburg will be happy to help finding the fitting expert.

The most exciting addition, however, is a planned visit to an international industry event. Active networking and smart self-promotion are foundational for achieving sustainable success in the games industry. Gamecity Hamburg offers support by covering the costs of travel and accommodation. But the teams will not go unprepared. Workshops will be dedicated to help teams show their best side, set the right goals and connect with the right people. Gamecity Hamburg cannot wait to announce where the journey is going.

If all that sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it will be. The Games Lift Incubator requires commitment from everyone involved. But it’s worth it.

Apply to the 2024 Incubator Program

Do you want to follow in their footsteps and boost your game concept with the Incubator program? Applications for 2024 are open from May 2 to June 10. Find all info on the Games Lift Incubator and how to apply right here on our website.   


Games Lift 2024: Apply now from May 2 until June 10

Applications for Gamecity Hamburg's 2024 Games Lift are open from May 2 to June 10. Five teams will receive financial support in the form of 15,000 euros, a comprehensive workshop program and access to the Games Lift Network of international industry experts. In addition, the teams can benefit from 1,000 euros in coaching budget. After a three-month workshop phase, the teams will be further supported with individual mentoring and will travel together to an international industry event until August 2025.

Games Lift Alumni: Why you should go for the Incubator

The Games Lift Incubator is a unique program offering 15,000 euros of funding, 3 months of workshops to get your game concept market-ready and a year of mentoring. Five teams per year get the chance to bring their game concept to the next level with this suppport. But if you're still not convinced that applying would be a great idea, we think it's best to see what other indie devs have to say about their time in the program: 

Games Lift: Playtests & Pizza

The Games Lift Incubator has evolved. We have plans for an entire year. That's why we've met with teams, mentors, and alumni months after the end of the workshop schedule.

Pitch Level Up 2024: Boost your pitch with expert feedback!

The Pitch Level Up is back! Join in on February 16, 11 am - 6 pm: Get individual feedback on your pitch deck from seasoned games industry professionals with different perspectives - to optimize your pitch for publishers, media, investors or funding institutions.

Games Lift: We’ll keep in touch

Is the Games Lift Incubator 2023 already over? Not exactly. But the first phase is, and on the occasion all teams presented their projects and progress: It’s the graduation pitch on December 5 at Design Zentrum Hamburg! 

Games Lift: Team Dottobeau have an eye for emotions

The game feels particularly warm and empathetic – and its team is a reflection of those values. “Dottobeau” is a game about searching and finding one’s own place in the universe. And it demands emotional intelligence.

Games Lift: Nenad Slavujevic on calculating chaos

His game idea looks like a well-tuned formula. And he can explain it like a pro. Nenad Slavujevic impresses us in the incubator with strong credentials and a clear plan.

Games Lift: Bagpack Games keep moving

They've been around for a few years now: Bagpack Games have successfully established themselves in the Hamburg scene. Now they are bringing a real eye-catcher of an idea to the Games Lift Incubator.

Games Lift: Markus Koepke stays the course

Years of experience have led him here: Alone, on an abandoned ship in the middle of the ocean. Markus Koepke's project "Journey Beyond the Edge of the World" in the Games Lift Incubator lures us in with its melancholic vibes.

Games Lift: Pipapo Games get the joke

Pipapo Games know how to make a concerted effort. The team behind "Map Map" reports to the interview in a bright mood, helps each other out on every question and still manages to take their own plans very seriously.

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.

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.

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