The location initiative Gamecity Hamburg supports six promising games projects with a total of 252,000 euros. The non-repayable grant will enable the selected start-ups from Hamburg to develop prototypes in order to position themselves in the growing global games market. A total of 23 game developers and companies have applied with their projects for the 1st funding round 2021. The quality and number of applications shows the great potential of Hamburg as a games industry hotspot. The application phase for the second funding round 2021 will run from August 30 to October 18.
Dr. Carsten Brosda, Hamburg’s Minister of Culture and Media: “Hamburg is one of the leading games industry hubs in Europe. To maintain this position, the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg provides tailored support to the games industry, through the Prototype Funding program and other measures. It gives studios and developers who plan to start up, settle or open a branch in Hamburg the opportunity to develop and implement their ideas here and thus further strengthens Hamburg as a business location. The projects submitted this year were once again convincing through their multitude as well as their high quality and demonstrated the large potential of the games industry location Hamburg.”
“After we were able to launch the new Hamburg Prototype Funding and our Games Lift Incubator in 2020, this year already shows how well these two funding instruments work together. For example, Crumbling is the first game project to receive prototype funding that has previously successfully completed our incubation program. With the help of feedback from our mentors, the team has made a great leap forward and developed a convincing concept for the game and a marketing plan around an innovative virtual reality game mechanic,”, says Dennis Schoubye, Project Lead Gamecity Hamburg.
The application phase for the funding ran from March 29 to May 17. In an online pitch day, a pre-selection of the best project teams presented their ideas to the awarding committee.
The awarding committee, consisting of Hamburg games industry experts Nina Müller (Head of Publishing Goodgame Studios), Michael Schade (Co-Founder and CEO ROCKFISH Games), Valentina Birke (Project Manager Super Crowd Entertainment), Jens Unrau (Head of Department Media and Digital Economy of the Ministry of Culture and Media in Hamburg) and Dennis Schoubye (Project Lead Gamecity Hamburg) made the funding decision for the six projects.
In addition to a convincing presentation of the project and team, other criteria such as feasibility, promotion of young talent, location effect and market potential were factored in in the decision. A further prerequisite for funding from the Hamburg Prototype Funding is that the funded teams must be based in Hamburg or relocate to Hamburg if funding is approved, or open a branch office in the city.
The funded projects:
- THE INVITATION by tool1 – 60,000 euros
- ARC BREAK by SpiceVR – 50,000 euros
- Rocket Science GONE WRONG (working title) by James Rucks & Clemens Runge – 48,000 euros
- Crumbling by Team Crumbling – 39,782 euros
- The Hunt for Epic Treasure (working title) by Elecular – 35,200 euros
- Fantasma Ville by Torito Games – 19,140 euros
For the first time, there will be a second round of prototype funding in the current year 2021. Further teams of developers will be able to apply for funding for their project prototypes from August 30.
Further information on the Hamburg Prototype Funding can be found at: https://www.gamecity-hamburg.de/funding/
The application phase for the Games Lift Incubator will start on June 21. In this second funding program under the umbrella of Gamecity Hamburg, teams are supported with up to 15,000 euros and a three-month coaching and mentoring program by experienced, international experts from the games industry. All information about the Games Lift Incubator is available at: https://www.gamecity-hamburg.de/incubator/
Neccton partners with Germany’s first online slot provider
Responsible gambling software experts bring the power of mentor to players of Die-Spielbank.de, the first state-owned operator of virtual slots within Germany
Market-leading compliance software experts Neccton have landed another major partner in Germany, with Sächsische Spielbanken-GmbH & Co. KG. Their online slots product went live in January 2023 under Die-Spielbank.de.
As the first state provider allowed to run virtual slot games with real-money prizes, the operator has attracted a lot of attention; therefore the company has acted wisely when it comes to player protection, adopting Neccton’s mentor software as its RG and AML solution.
Neccton’s success in Germany’s burgeoning online gaming market is both a testament to the company’s background in RG research, and the industry’s forward-thinking approach to player protection.
Neccton’s software was developed as a result of over 15 years of academic research by Dr Michael Auer, company director and head of development. Dr Auer is regarded as one of the world’s leading lights in academic RG research, and mentor is the very fruit of his work. Dr Auer’s research is also commonly cited by regulatory bodies in operator guidelines.
As a result, Die-Spielbank.de players are now protected by mentor’s AI-driven real-time data analysis, which tracks possible problematic gambling behaviour and works to help both players and operators to identify potential issues early. The tool recognises triggers such as a significant increase in deposit frequency, and alerts the operator and directly contacts the player, helping the end user make better-informed decisions.
mentor also includes modules for Fraud, AML and a CRM so Neccton’s customers can solve many issues with a single supplier.
Dr Auer said of the new partnership: “It speaks volumes that so many operators in this new market have opted to work with us for their player protection and more. Working with us means that player issues can be detected early – but also, my research has shown that players who gamble responsibly are more loyal, and their customer lifetime is significantly longer. It truly makes financial sense for operators to protect their players, and that is precisely what we do to everyone’s benefit.”
Kurt Böhm, Head of Online Casino Operations, is very confident about this partnership: “Neccton’s mentor software is well known and proven within the iGaming industry. Therefore we trust the software and are delighted about the partnership with Neccton. We are looking forward working closely with Dr Michael Auer and the whole Neccton team.”
These are the most successful new games in Germany in 2022
Be it exciting sports games, games for the entire family, epic journeys into fantastical worlds, or action-packed adventure – 2022 offered a wide range of video game titles to choose from. This can be seen in the German annual charts for the bestselling PC and console games that were released in 2022. The hit sports game ‘EA SPORTS FIFA 23’ (Electronic Arts) captured first place in the list of bestselling new game releases in 2022. Another major success: ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ (Nintendo) from the popular Pokémon series for the Nintendo Switch. This action role-playing game took second place in the list of bestselling games for the year just ended. Third place in the German charts for 2022 was secured by the award-winning open-world game ‘ELDEN RING’ (Bandai Namco Entertainment), which was the result of a collaboration between game developer Hidetaka Miyazaki and author George R. R. Martin. Just two months after its release at the end of October 2022, first-person shooter game ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’ (Activision) made it into fourth place. It was followed in fifth place by the action-adventure game ‘LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’ (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment), whose missions are based on the most important events from the nine ‘Star Wars’ films.
The 20 bestselling PC and console games in 2022:
Information on the annual charts
The annual charts for 2022 list the games released that year for PCs and game consoles that were most often sold – physically and digitally, across platforms – in Germany in 2022. The data is gathered by Games Sales Data (GSD), a platform operated by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE). Digital sales of Nintendo titles from the Nintendo eShop are not included.
PRAGMATIC PLAY BROADENS CZECH PRESENCE WITH FORBES CASINO
Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, has signed a strategic partnership with Forbes Casino in the Czech Republic.
The agreement provides Forbes Casino users with 12 of the provider’s high-performing Slots, including player favourite Sugar Rush™ and multi-award-winning titles such as Gates of Olympus™ and Wolf Gold™. In total, 50 of Pragmatic Play’s Slot games are now certified across the regulated Czech market.
Forbes Casino is a recently established online brand of Victoria Tip a.s., one of the most successful operators of brick-and-mortar casinos in the country.
The latest partnership for Pragmatic Play adds to its growing presence across Europe and cements its position as a key player in the Czech Republic.
Irina Cornides, Chief Operating Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Forbes Casino is built on a rich history of providing high-quality casino experiences to players in the Czech Republic, and we are honoured to expand on that with the addition of Pragmatic Play titles to their online operation.
“With a strong commitment to our craft and dedication to responsible gambling, we are excited that even more players in this growing regulated market can now enjoy our globally popular games.”
Petr Žemba, Project Manager at Forbes Casino, said: “When looking at collaborators for our online operations, we know brand reputation is of utmost importance to our users, partnering with such a well-established provider as Pragmatic Play is a victory in itself.
“We know our customers are going to love the titles that we’ve added which have already proved to be a big hit across the wider European market and beyond. We look forward to seeing where this deal can take us and the new heights we can reach on Forbes Casino.”
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