The gaming industry is currently experiencing impressive growth rates and this positive trend seems to be on-going. Scandinavia is one of the world leaders when it comes to innovative products within the field. In Game Hub Scandinavia, we wish to make the gaming industry a primary source of income for the Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Our goal is to generate 100 new companies and 400 new jobs in the Scandinavian countries through incubation of new businesses, gamification and knowledge sharing.
Providing the best possible environment for new game developer talent and new game companies to start successful businesses is the job of incubators. Much of Game Hub Scandinavia’s efforts in job creation and research centers on the four incubators connected to Game Hub Scandinavia.
One of the main activities of Game Hub Scandinavia is the mobile laboratory – Gamification Lab. The laboratory will be operating throughout the regions of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, as well as in collaborations across the country borders.
The gaming industry is characterized by its rapidly changing nature, which makes it especially important that developers have the capability to adapt and grow to accommodate for, often unforeseen, changes in the industry landscape. Game Hub Scandinavia intends to demonstrate how the newest knowledge from university researchers can become useful to companies in the games industry.
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Together, Viden Djurs and Dania Erhvervsakademi operate the Game Hub Denmark incubator, which is located in Grenaa, Denmark; a city that has become a centre of entrepreneurship and game development.
Game Hub Denmark is a newly founded brand that encompasses the pre-existing collaboration between Viden Djurs and Erhvervsakademi Dania and their focus on education, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Game Hub Denmark is an environment for graduates wanting to start their own company. The start-ups in Game Hub Denmark are graduates from either Viden Djurs Game College, Viden Djurs 3D College or Erhvervsakademi Dania’s Dania Games – or both institutions. Those who have no connection to either institution can obtain admission on approval by the mentors of the incubator.
Game Hub Denmark has helped more than 15 companies and 50 students and graduates get started since 2011.
The Game Incubator
The Game Incubator is operated by Gothia Innovation AB and positioned in Skövde, Sweden (since 2004) and Gothenburg (since 2015). The goal is to create global companies with local jobs. The Game Incubator is a national node and internationally recognized as a successful environment with proven methods and processes to start and develop game companies.
50+ companies have been helped by The Game Incubator. These include Coffee Stain Studios, Stunlock Studios and Pieces Interactive.
60+ games have been released by companies in The Game Incubator, ranging from the Goat Simulator to Magicka 2 and Dead Island: Epidemic.
Arsenalet Game Incubator
Arsenalet Game Incubation is a newly established project operated by The Animation Workshop/VIA University College and housed by the creative working space called Arsenalet in Viborg, Denmark.
Arsenalet Game Incubation runs in periods of nine months where each group or individual gets a chance to create the much-needed focus that can help kick-start his or her company. It is open to everyone but the group or individual that applies must aim for the goal of generating their main income from the games industry.
Whether the project is a board game, digital game, outsourcing of animation and 3D assets or concept art is up for the applicant to decide.
One of the main activities of Game Hub Scandinavia is the mobile laboratory Gamification Lab. The laboratory will be operating throughout the regions of Denmark, Sweden and Norway as well as in collaborations across the countries borders.
Gamification is the art of implementing game elements into non-game contexts. With the Gamification Lab, the aim is to create a meeting point from which gamification collaborations can be established between game businesses and other industries.
Of relevant industries it is worth mentioning health, culture and refuse disposal. The Gamification Lab is a mobile laboratory to be used on-site at the location of involved businesses and is based in Aalborg, Denmark. By working on-site, the laboratory becomes a place where businesses, outside of the game industry, can meet and pair up with game developers.
Integration of new game technologies
Today, game development is in many aspects driven by technology. The market is constantly filled with new technologies, which game studios have to relate to in order to operate on different gaming platforms. Current examples of such new technologies are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR); two fields that rely on both specialized hardware (headsets, mobile devices) and software (game engines, specialized middleware) to be used properly. Game technologies include both software and hardware, and in our research we will identify and follow trends within these fields in order to learn more about how actors from the gaming industry in our region better can discover and use new technology in their products.
Analysing game development practices
Game development is different to traditional software development. Creating games requires a wide mix of competences due to the fact that entertainment, creativity and artistic merits typically are as important as functionality. There exists some research that has highlighted these differences but surprisingly little has been produced, which can help support start-up companies and establish sound development practices. Our goal is to review current literature on game development practice to establish a road map to existing knowledge and provide start-up companies with guidelines to game development practices.
The Indian game market is changing rapidly, according to a recent report from NASSCOM (The Indian Gaming Market Review, 2015). Society is embracing digital entertainment like never before, enabled by the fast growth of smartphones and affordable wireless internet. China is already identified as a major market with its own challenges in terms of technology and content. Game Hub Scandinavia explores the requirements for entering these markets from various perspectives – such as business and market understanding, gaming cultures and technology platforms. Researchers from the University of Skövde will explore challenges and possibilities of establishment in Asian markets such as India and China.
Gamification and diversification into new application areas
The term gamification has been coined to describe how game design components can be applied to other areas such as teaching and training in order to improve motivation and results. However, previous research shows that this entails many challenges. A good game is not necessarily a good teaching tool, and the learning context affects the requirements of a game. In our research, we aim to bridge the gap between the game development sphere and the application areas of gamified solutions.
Game development educations in Scandinavia
Tertiary education is a crucial component of the Scandinavian game industry ecosystem. Universities and vocational schools are continuously ensuring that game companies have the capabilities to equip themselves with competent and internationally competitive employees. As part of our research into this area, we have conducted a broader survey of the current situation – and future trends – of game education. The northern European model for game education and development has been receiving an increasing amount of attention internationally in recent years. In order to provide continued support for discussions regarding how tertiary education helps provide a foundation for the successful northern game industries, we published an overview of Swedish game education and will in the coming year share a similar overview of Danish and Norwegian educations.
Facts and funding
Game Hub Scandinavia is funded by the EU regional development fund Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak under their priority area called “Employment.” Game Hub Scandinavia is a continuation of the knowledge gained in our previous successful project, similarly called Scandinavian Game Developers. The previous project won an EU RegioStar Award in 2015 for its innovative approach.
Running Period: 1 of August, 2015 to 31 of July, 2018 Budget: 3,939,282 € Granted funds: 1,816,486 € Norwegian funds: 634 034 NOK Central Denmark Region funds: 5,500,000 DKK Lead partner: Viden Djurs