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

Games Lift: These are the five teams for the Hamburg game developer incubator in 2023

July 17, 2023

Hamburg, July 17: Five teams have won over the Games Lift awarding committee with their game projects. On September 11, the Games Lift Incubator will start for them as a unique support program in Germany. Included is a one-year workshop and mentoring program with international industry experts and 15,000 euros in financial support, as well as room for collaboration and exchange with the other participating teams. More than 30 experts in game design, product development, pitching, business development, press relations and marketing from the Games Lift network will share their experience with the teams to give their projects a professional start. The Games Lift Incubator is organized and implemented by Gamecity Hamburg on behalf of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

A total of 24 teams and solo developers applied for the fourth Games Lift Incubator. The decision for the five participating teams was made by the awarding committee, consisting of Mareike Ottrand (Professor for Interactive Illustration and Games / HAW Hamburg) Ole Schaper (Managing Director The Sandbox Hamburg (Sviper GmbH)), Heiko Gogolin (Managing Director Rocket Beans Entertainment) and Amanda Förtsch (Project Manager Gamecity Hamburg).

Ole Schaper on the decision of the committee: "With each year of Games Lift Incubator, more talented teams with exciting projects apply. The passion and commitment of the developers impress me over and over again. Hamburg's academic institutions, but also the city's extremely lively indie scene, ensure that the steady stream of creativity never stops."

The five winner projects and teams for Games Lift Incubator 2023:

  • Chaos Royale by Monodot
  • Dottobeau by Dottobeau 
  • Journey Beyond the Edge of the World by Markus Koepke
  • Map Map – A Game about Maps by Kopfkino Games
  • We the Valarii by Bagpack Games  

Chaos Royale by Monodot is a free-to-play battle royale game with shooting mechanics, full of eccentric and fantastic characters. Different weapon combinations and an improvement of the own shooting power turn the matches for 16 to 32 players* into fast-paced firefights.

The Team behind Dottobeau formed at HAW Hamburg to develop a classic point-and-click adventure game wherein players solve tricky puzzles by changing the overall atmosphere of the ingame world. The more puzzles players solve, the more new items they can find. This way they can manipulate the storyline and move on to the next chapter of this sensitive adventure.

Journey Beyond the Edge of the World by Markus Koepke is a musical first-person adventure game with a story told through five atmospheric pieces of music. The story, which spans over three time periods, is set in a mysterious abandoned fishing boat whose history needs to be uncovered. This nostalgic, low-poly game world contains a lot of tricky puzzles to unravel.

Map Map – A Game about Maps by Kopfkino Games is a cozy exploration game with puzzle elements, where the atmosphere of a relaxed hike meets typical landscape puzzles à la GeoGuessing. The unique mapping mechanic allows players to interact with the atmospheric game world and its many elements in a completely new way.

We the Valarii by Bagpack Games is an entertaining couch co-op racer with a literal spin, as the unique motion physics are created by rotating the mouse or stick. The focus is not on competition, but on overcoming obstacles and completing boss battles together.

More information about the projects at

The incubator program addresses the individual needs of developers with comprehensive workshops, mentoring and coaching content. Workshops and mentoring sessions are offered in the fields of project management, marketing and business start-up.

After completing the three-month workshop program of Phase 1, the teams will present their results to a broad audience at a final public pitch in December 2023. Phase 2 will immediately follow and will run until September 2024.

Starting this year, selected mentors will work even closer with the teams and will support them directly and according to their needs throughout the entire incubator period; Manny Hachey (COO THREAKS), Björn Bergstein (Coach & Consultant for Management and Leadership), Daniel Marx (CEO & Game Director Osmotic Studios), Søren Lass (Business Development Consultant) and Steffen Rühl (Expert for digital and analog games industry). In periodic, personalized mentoring sessions, they will provide advice to the teams and their project progress. 

In addition, the Games Lift Network, with more than 30 experts from all areas of the industry, will once again provide support to the participating teams on specific issues from all areas of the development and marketing of digital games. In addition, the teams will receive individual communication support from a PR agency specialized in indie games.

You don't want to miss the registration start for Games Lift Incubator 2024? Then sign up for our Games Lift Mailing List at

Further funding opportunities through Gamecity Hamburg
In addition to the Games Lift Incubator, Gamecity Hamburg also supports developers and games companies from Hamburg with a prototype funding. Each year, 400,000 euros are available for games projects from Hamburg, of which up to 120,000 euros can be applied per game. The next application round will start in spring 2024.
All information on prototype funding can be found at

For further questions please contact:
Anna Jäger
Gamecity Hamburg
PR Manager
T +49 40 23 72 43 5 78 

About Gamecity Hamburg
Gamecity Hamburg supports, connects and makes the gaming hub Hamburg visible. Founded in 2003, Gamecity Hamburg is the longest existing public funding institution for the games industry at the state level in Germany and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The aim is to improve the general conditions for companies and founders of the games value chain in the city, to support them in their further development and to anchor Hamburg in the public perception as one of the leading games locations in Germany. Gamecity Hamburg is the contact point for Hamburg's games funding as well as the Games Lift Incubator and also offers programs, events, and services in close cooperation with the games industry to strengthen local developers. At the same time, the exchange of knowledge within the sector and with other industries is promoted. The promotion of young talent, the development of new formats that activate the strong network of games companies in the city, and internationalization are the focus of the location initiative's activities. Gamecity Hamburg is part of Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft.

About the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft 
Since its foundation in 2010, Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft has seen itself as a central contact point for all players in Hamburg's creative industries from the eleven sub-markets of architecture, visual arts, design, film, literature, music, press, radio, software/games, theatre/dance, and advertising. It supports creative professionals with contemporary services and promotes innovation within the framework of the "Cross-Innovation Hub" project. Since 2017 the industry-specific initiatives Gamecity Hamburg, nextMedia.Hamburg and Design Zentrum are part of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft mbH.

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