The incubation context is a determining factor for incubation models.
Though this might change in the near future, as a rule, incubators are born in a specific environment: most commonly either within a university or a Tech Park context. The obvious advantage is that they can gradually grow until they eventually “hatch” and establish a self-contained setting.
A rarer starting point, but showing some promise in recent years, is a dedicated co-working space or a collective for game developers, integrating an “incubatory” environment.
Who typically initiates an incubator?
The initiator of an incubator dedicated to game developers is usually a veteran game developer. In the university context, they are often also teaching at a faculty and propose to install an incubator for the graduates. Or you have an IT incubation manager who is interested in games and understands their potential and needs. This scenario is more likely taking place in the context of a Tech and Science Park.
Integrated Incubator Models
The resulting incubators are often what we here call “integrated incubators”. They are offering space, infrastructure, regular personal coaching and consulting, a programme with workshops, pitch trainings, etc. Hence, they are often established with physical premises and provide the “full package”.
More rarely, there are what we here call “open models”. These would be either short-term models, e.g. a type of summer camp within a temporary space, or hybrid formats with online or telephone coaching and physical intensive x-days workshops. It could even be a loose component of another form of the above-mentioned integrated approach: “the game collective or hub”. Typical examples for this are Stugan1Stugan: http://www.stugan.com/, SpielFabrique2SpielFabrique: http://spielfabrique.eu/en/home-2/ or the GameCamps3GameCamps: https://www.facebook.com/balticgamecamps/.