Gaming Accelerator Bayreuth: € 50.000 to promote computer games
The „Bayreuth Games Accelerator“ will be funded by the federal government and the Free State of Bavaria to the tune of € 50,000. This is intended to strengthen the great initiative emanating from the media sciences and the start-up culture of the University of Bayreuth, and to establish Bayreuth as a games development centre in Germany.
The University of Bayreuth (UBT) recognised early on that computer games have enormous potential in terms of media, cultural studies, computer science, and, above all, economics. That is why the „Computer Game Studies“ master’s degree programme was introduced back in 2015. Prof. Dr. Jochen Koubek, Professor of Digital Media at the University of Bayreuth and Head of the Games Innovation Lab (GiL) adds: „In 2017, the Games Innovation Lab followed, and since then we have been supporting student projects with technological and spatial infrastructure, as well as accompanying workshops and coaching.“ The successes are impressive: Bayreuth computer game scientists were able to win the renowned German Computer Game Award in the category „Young Talent Award: Best Prototype“, among other prizes.
In recent years, start-up projects have also been supported by increased cooperation with the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UBT to develop their ideas, create market access, and gain access to regional and national networks.
The idea to develop a dedicated programme for gaming start-ups came about in consultation with the Bayreuth gaming scene. „To date, there have only been a few such special programmes for gaming start-ups operating in Germany. The Games Accelerator aims to establish Bayreuth as a gaming hotspot from which regional companies will also benefit,“ says David Eder, Transfer Manager at the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UBT, and project manager of the programme.
The „Bayreuth Games Accelerator“ is intended to have an impact far beyond the borders of Bayreuth. The Accelerator’s target group is German games studios with up to five employees, who must apply to participate, but that free of charge. Here, participants can work on their game ideas for three weeks and also expand their skills.
The difference to comparable programmes is that, in addition to the content relevant to gaming start-ups, knowledge can be acquired in business management workshops, for example, necessary for placing a computer game on the market more quickly, and for organizing its marketing and distribution more professionally.
University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible welcomes the support from the federal government and the Free State of Bavaria, as well as the effect of earmarking Bayreuth as a centre for computer games: „The future lies in the digital. That is why I am pleased that with the Bayreuth Games Accelerator we have the chance to make Bayreuth a centre of German computer game development,“ says Leible.
Approximately € 50,000 in funding has been approved for the implementation of the project for a one-off three-week programme (28 January to 20 February 2022). € 10,000 of this coming from Games Bavaria, and € 41.417,64 from the federal government’s computer game funding. „Networking and content-related support in the form of workshops and mentoring are essential to enable teams to grow sustainably, and thus increase the share of successful in-house productions in Germany as a games centre in the long term. Here, too, Bavaria is showing that it offers the ideal framework conditions. The up-and-coming games city of Bayreuth with its strong start-up scene and university is taking national games teams to the next level of professionalisation with the Games Accelerator – we are proud to be part of this initiative,“ says Lena Fischer, Project Lead Games at Games/Bavaria.
If the organisers have their way, the three-week Accelerator will be just the beginning. Next year, the „Bayreuth Games Accelerator“ could go into its second round – but then over a period of three months.
Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Transfer and Innovation Manager
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