Computer games and ideas forum – DLR Projektträger opens "Game Lab"
21st January 2022 — Game worlds are experiencing a boom: around 60 per cent of the German population play computer and video games. Digital games have long since become part of our cultural heritage; the games industry itself has turned into a key player and innovation driver in the creative industries. On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV), DLR-PT supports the Federal Government's computer games funding with an interdisciplinary team that includes staff members who come from the creative industry and have themselves programmed video games. Together with team members who have many years of experience in project funding, they accompany the project proposals. In addition, the teams advise interested parties on the application process and inform them about the Federal funding mechanisms with the help of a virtual seminar programme.
So far, more than 340 projects have been funded, and the first ones have now been completed. The special nature of the project results led to the establishment of the first "game lab", where the computer games developed in the projects are tested in practice at various stations – on PCs, mobile Android and iOS devices as well as on various game consoles and virtual reality (VR) stations.
Ideas forum and transfer workshop
"Computer games bring people together. They promote exchange and social interaction and scored particularly well with this strength during the lockdown phases," explained Martin Wegner, DLR-PT division head of "Society, Innovation, Technology" at the inauguration of the first game laboratory at the DLR-PT site in Bonn. Here, it is not only computer games that are tried out and get their runnability tested. "We were also concerned with creating a productive, interactive environment that serves as a transfer workshop and ideas forum. Industry players can meet here, network and develop ideas together. The Game Lab also opens up new perspectives on the potential of the industry in Germany and Europe," Wegner continued. A second game lab is currently being planned at the Berlin location.
"With the Game Lab, our aim was also to create a productive, interactive environment that serves as a transfer workshop and ideas forum,” Wegner further explained. “Industry players can meet here, network and develop ideas together."
With the programme, launched by the BMDV in 2019, the Federal Government is investing 250 million euros in the games industry over the next few years to promote its creative and economic-technical innovations. The aim is to significantly increase the market share of computer and video games produced by German companies and to make Germany a more attractive location for game developers.
After the great success of the first round of funding, the programme has now been extended. Financial resources of up to 50 million euros are available annually. This is the first time that applications for large-scale developments of computer games with funding amounts in the millions can be submitted since the Federal Government's computer games funding started its second round in September 2020. In the previous first funding round, the amount was still limited to a maximum of 200,000 euros per project.