Case Study: Baltic Sea Game Incubation Project

Strenghtening incubation through collaboration.

Think bigger, look further

The reasons that encumber initiatives and organisations sharing the aim of “chaperoning” game developer teams on their trajectory to becoming professional and successful businesses are manifold, but also the same old same old: struggling with lack of resources, thus lack of time which always ends in “other priorities” being higher on the agenda and impairs the vision for long-term business goals. The result is a common business myopia leading to the notorious not seeing the wood for the trees.

The project “Baltic Sea Game Incubation” (BSGI)1Baltic Sea Game Incubation: builds upon the insights gained from the predecessor project “Baltic Game Industry” (2017-2020)2Baltic Game Industry: BSGI endeavours to facilitate not only networking but in particular to encourage a manifest interest in collaborating with other games business support structures and organisations. This will also apply across borders by showcasing the benefits for the individual institution and programme.

Creating a solid game business support environment

Running for a year with a clear remit to pilot practical activities and measures, the BSGI partners join forces to establish a solid environment of knowledge exchange, competence building, discourse spaces and systematic approaches, underpinned by a shared understanding and dedicated collaboration activities.

Thereby, the focus lies on three aspects:

The incubation ecosystem

Every game business support programme depends on the relationships to veteran game developers, experienced game business owners and senior managers to provide for mentors and investors. The dependency for the quality of their programme goes beyond merely having a critical mass of such contacts, but of ensuring that these contacts are qualified in their roles as mentors and investors. Therefore, competence building of volunteer mentors and interested first-time investors and business angels is paramount for the success of incubators (i.e. the success of their incubatees).

A systematic approach to incubation, acceleration, other business support formats

Even renowned and successful incubators have reshaped their programmes, revisited their initial concepts and reviewed their approaches over the years. Each as part of an individual “lessons learnt” cycle, seldom fully shared and discussed with other incubators. Incubation planning informed by solid conceptual considerations doesn’t benefit from being a “lonely” business. Rather it requires a vibrant discourse and exchange of sound reflections on how to systematically approach game business support and an assessment of the very specific nature and idiosyncrasies of this dynamic business area.

Complement and enhance the programme through transnational activities

There are offers that are either too exotic or too generic to spend resources for every “class” of incubatees. Why not find ways to share these resources with other incubators? Thus, the costs can be split, increasing the scope of your programme and ensuring the satisfaction of your clients.

Also, good practices such as intensive workshops, summer camps and exchange programmes are resource-heavy. However, they need not be relinquished if organised as a joint activity.

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