Hamburg’s Games Industry gets an innovative virtual home: The Gamecity Online Hub

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The location initiative Gamecity Hamburg created a new virtual home for the vibrant Hamburg games industry network: the Gamecity Online Hub (available at https://hub.gamecity-hamburg.de/). Rather than providing a link-list or information website on local businesses, the Gamecity Online Hub uses the capabilities of the video game medium to give users a first-hand experience of Hamburg and its games economy: The platform is a fully playable browser game in an authentic Hamburg setting. Visitors can walk through digital comic-style miniatures of Hamburg’s harbor, the infamous St. Pauli-District, the Stadtpark, and the historic Speicherstadt area – while discovering the diverse games ecosystem of the region. With over 200 companies, from solo developers to SMEs and large games corporations, numerous educational institutions and other companies in the games value chain, Hamburg is one of Europe’s most active games metropolises.

On May 6, the first stage of the Gamecity Online Hub will open its digital doors. Visitors can explore the Online Hub throughout 2021. Further functional and content updates as well as numerous digital events set on the Online Hub are already planned during the course of the year.

Users can move freely through the Online Hub with their avatars, explore the game world and interact via in-game-chat. At individually designed booths of more than 30 Hamburg games companies and educational institutions represented on the platform, they find information, presentations of games, and opportunities for contact and exchange in open video calls. Also, the initiative Gamecity Hamburg provides insights into its Games Lift incubator and prototype funding programs, as well as its networking and information events. Hamburg games entrepreneur teams present the games they successfully developed with the help of the games funding and incubator programs.

The Gamecity Online Hub showcases the innovative spirit of Hamburg’s multi-faceted games industry. It is made possible thanks to the cooperation with the Hamburg-based company Super Crowd Entertainment, which developed the technical platform, and the financial support of the companies represented on the Online Hub. Super Crowd Entertainment, an event agency specialized in the games market, was recently awarded a special prize at the German Computer Game Awards (Deutscher Computerspielpreis) for its digital trade fair concept “Indie Arena Booth Online” based on the same technology.

Throughout 2021, the Gamecity Online Hub will grow and evolve: There will always be new things to discover, both in terms of content and functionality. In addition, the platform will be used regularly for events and get-togethers, then with additional interaction features, such as embedded person-to-person video calls.

The Gamecity Online Hub is a project of Gamecity Hamburg. It is a publicly-funded location initiative and part of the public agency for the promotion of creative industries in Hamburg, the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft. Gamecity Hamburg aims to improve the general conditions for companies and founders of the games value chain in the city, support them in their further development and anchor Hamburg in the public perception as one of the leading games industry hot spots in Europe.

The idea for the Gamecity Online Hub was born from positive experience with digital events in the games industry: In March 2021, the Hamburg Games Conference Online set the bar with a completely remote conference with 600 participants and numerous lectures, panels, discussion rounds and networking events on the framework that is now also used for the Gamecity Online Hub.

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