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Application Start for Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding on March 7 – 400,000 Euros for Games from Hamburg and New Diversity Checklist

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“In the context of paused federal funding, we are pleased to reliably support game developers in Hamburg once again with up to 400,000 euros with the Prototype Funding 2024. In this funding round, we’re adding a diversity checklist to our application documents to encourage our applicants to examine their own structures and processes while developing. Games are the leading medium of our time and can showcase diverse voices, perspectives, and stories,” comments Dennis Schoubye, Head of Gamecity Hamburg.

Starting this year, answering the diversity checklist is mandatory when applying for Prototype Funding. Applicants’ answers can optionally be used by the awarding committee when evaluating projects. Applicants whose team and/or project enriches the diversity of Hamburg’s games landscape can receive a bonus in the evaluation by the awarding committee. On the contrary, applicants are not disadvantaged in the evaluation process if that is not the case for their team and/or project. The awarding committee consists of Nina Müller (Head of Publishing, Goodgame Studios), Jonas Hüsges (Publishing Director, Daedalic Entertainment), Valentina Birke (Director, Indie Arena Booth), Jens Unrau (Head of the Media and Digital Economy Department of the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media) and Dennis Schoubye (Head of Gamecity Hamburg). They will decide on the granted funding after the end of the application phase on the basis of the submitted projects and a subsequent pitch by the applicants.

The Application Process

Eligible to apply for Prototype Funding are: 

  • developers and developer groups
  • or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 
  • who are based in Hamburg
  • or which relocate their registered office to Hamburg
  • or open a branch office/business location in Hamburg

 A consultation with Gamecity Hamburg is mandatory and is recommended at least two weeks before the submission deadline on April 8, to prepare applicants optimally for their submission. Interested parties please contact [email protected] to arrange an appointment.

Projects funded through the Prototype Funding program

Since the start of the first funding round in 2020, the Prototype Funding has so far supported 26 games projects with more than 1,450,000 euros. Among the funding recipients are, for example, the indie studio Tiny Roar, which received prototype funding in 2022 for its dreamlike world-builder game “Wanderful”. The serious game “Mambio” by neurodactics, an educational game to make arithmetic understandable for primary school children, received the Prototype Funding in 2021 and was able to secure over 1,100,000 million euros in additional federal computer games funding in 2022. The virtual reality game “Crumbling”, in which your own controller becomes an action figure, was part of the first prototype funding round as well and found a strong partner alongside investors in Meta. Crumbling celebrated its successful release in February 2024.

Further funding programs for Hamburg games industry by Gamecity Hamburg

Every year, the Games Lift Incubator supports five teams, developers and start-ups in the development of digital games and projects. In addition to 15,000 euros in start-up funding, the recipients receive a comprehensive coaching and mentoring program featuring international experts as well as workshops and subsequent individual support. The application phase for this year’s Games Lift runs from May 2 to June 10, 2024.

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Gaming

Sortium Revolutionizing Video Game Development with Groundbreaking AI Tools Launch and $4 Million+ Funding Round

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In a significant leap forward for the gaming and entertainment sectors, Sortium, a leader in the wave of generative AI within gaming, has launched innovative AI tools for artists and game developers, marking a new era of creativity and efficiency. These tools, leveraging the Polkadot infrastructure, are set to transform the gaming industry by enhancing the creative process, streamlining production workflows, and producing high-quality user-generated content.

This transformative step is supported by a successful funding round Sortium just closed, surpassing $4 million. The round was led by industry stalwarts such as Signum Growth, with significant contributions from a diverse array of investors, including Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management LLC, IDG Blockchain, IVC Fund, Polygon, and 1881 S Group AG. This wide-ranging support underscores the industry’s confidence in Sortium’s potential to revolutionize 3D video game design and entertainment production.

Sortium’s AI tools integrate seamlessly into existing game production ecosystems, automating challenging content creation tasks. This innovation enables studios to significantly speed up production times and reduce costs, allowing them to focus more on innovation and design while empowering users across any system to design their own characters, thereby opening new creative freedoms and revenue streams for developers and individual creators alike. Sortium’s team, with deep expertise in game development, AI, and IP rights management, ensures the smooth adoption of this technology.

According to Angela Dalton, CEO & Founder of Signum Growth, “The Sortium team’s technical capabilities are impressive. Perhaps even more importantly, they possess deep expertise, relationships and understanding across the traditional gaming industry. Generative AI is in its broader market experimentation phase, leading many to ignore IP rights in the spirit of progress and innovation. Sortium’s believes that IP rights will ultimately matter – baking them into the technology at the outset, and respecting artists’ work, are core tenets of the company that we fully support.”

Building on this foundation of technical excellence and ethical commitment, Sortium’s innovations also translate into tangible benefits for the gaming community.

“Sortium is leading the frontier of AI in gaming and creative applications. Sortium gives creatives unparalleled freedom in leading gaming environments like Unreal,” said Lex Avellino, Founder & CCO at Passage, one of Sortium’s partners. “The team is breaking technical barriers, and it adds a huge value for our consumer audiences who want to take advantage of the latest virtual tech but need to act with speed and simplicity.”

Sortium is actively forming partnerships with major intellectual properties and leading gaming platforms. A recent major collaboration with Bit Brawl, a game utilizing Sortium technology to deliver live content to over 5,000 users, showcases the versatile application of Sortium’s tools across various gaming environments. Its technology’s wide compatibility with leading development platforms ensures extensive adoption potential and effortless integration into professional industry practices. Sortium’s enterprise solutions, such as the LiveOps API, aim to enhance gaming experiences and enable continuous creativity through endless, tailored content generation.

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Gaming

Phoenix Games Expands Partnership with Warhammer Owner Games Workshop

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Phoenix Games and Games Workshop are continuing their cooperation on Warhammer Combat Cards and expanding their collaboration to work on more of Warhammer’s Universes.

Phoenix Games, a globally operating games company specialised in acquiring and enhancing game studios, is expanding its collaboration with the Warhammer brand. The partnership between both companies is built on the success of the mobile game Warhammer Combat Cards, which was developed by Phoenix Games’ studio Well Played Games for iOS and Android, delighting millions of players worldwide.

Thanks to the partnership, Phoenix Games is expanding its access to the rich universes of Warhammer, including Age of Sigmar, The Horus Heresy and The Old World, providing a foundation for the development of innovative game concepts to include in Warhammer Combat Cards. The objective of the collaboration is to transform the iconic miniatures of characters and factions into unique gaming experiences within Warhammer Combat Cards that will excite not only fans of Warhammer but also new players.

“Continuing and even expanding our partnership with Games Workshop is a logical step, as it unlocks numerous opportunities to create versatile gaming experiences based on globally beloved universes. We are very excited about the opportunity to enhance the Warhammer Combat Cards game with additional IPs and provide fans of the game with new content in the long term,” says Klaas Kersting, CEO of Phoenix Games.

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Gaming

Honor of Kings shares details of groundbreaking new Open Series, registration to begin 15 April

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Today sees a major update for the world’s most played mobile MOBA with new features and content aimed at making Honor of Kings even more enjoyable for both current players and newcomers alike. This is coupled with the announcement of a major esports initiative – The Open Series – aimed specifically at identifying and nurturing the stars of the future.
Level Infinite, publisher of Honor of Kings, has revealed that registration for the new Honor of Kings Open Series Split 1 will begin on April 15, 2024. This groundbreaking series offers amateur players a platform to showcase their skills globally, competing individually and in teams, with the chance to qualify for the prestigious Honor of Kings Invitational Season 2 tournament. With no rank requirements, teams from Türkiye, CIS, MENA, and Wildcard will clash in open qualifiers starting May 1, 2024. The series, featuring two stages, will culminate in the Finals in May, offering special in-game rewards for participants.

James Yang, Senior Director of Level Infinite Global Esports, expressed excitement for the series, emphasizing its role in fostering undiscovered talent and enriching the Honor of Kings esports ecosystem with a path-to-pro opportunity. Interested teams can register from April 15-26, 2024 (UTC+0), and follow official social media channels for updates.

“The Honor of Kings Open Series is an exciting step forward in our mission to grow Honor of Kings esports on the international stage,” said James Yang, Senior Director of Level Infinite Global Esports, Tencent Games. “ Part of Honor of Kings’ commitment in esports is to ensure we provide a path-to-pro for exciting undiscovered talent to put their skill on full display for the world and show fans that anyone is capable of being the best with hard work and dedication. We can’t wait to see what teams emerge from the Open Series to challenge the world’s best at the Honor of Kings Invitational Season 2 tournament.”

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