BIU.Dev – connecting the German games industry

At last year’s QUO VADIS conference, the BIU German games industry association celebrated the start of its new developer network, BIU.Dev. The network for game developers in Germany recently celebrated its first anniversary and is a premium partner of QUO VADIS 2016. The team behind BIU.Dev looks back onto the first year and tells us what they have planned for the conference.

 

The BIU.Dev network just recently celebrated its first anniversary. Looking back on the first year – how did the exchange with developers turn out?

Thorsten Hamdorf: Throughout the first year, the intense exchange between BIU.Dev members, the network mentors and us has been a great help for all involved parties. We’re thus very pleased with the collaboration in the network, which is mainly based on personal contact. We’re also very proud of the first projects that came to be through this exchange, for example our “Initiative ProTalent” in which we’ve brought together game developers and universities to discuss the shortage of skilled workers in the German games industry. Another example is our webinar series (“BIU Academy”) that we came up with together with developers and that has successfully started earlier this year. From May on, we’ll also be hosting workshops.

On top of these own events, BIU.Dev is also supporting young and independent developer teams, for example with the biggest Indie Arena Booth at gamescom, the Indie BBQ or by supporting the Newcomer Awards at the Play 15 festival. One further key feature in terms of network activity is to bring numerable benefits to our members, such as discounts on tickets to developer conferences as well as options for presence at gamescom and other fairs.

 

What are your first experiences from your role as a guide at BIU and leaning on that, what are your best funding advices for developers?

Stephanie Lang: My past experiences from working at the funding agency MFG in Baden-Wuerttemberg have been proven during my time at BIU: the “funding jungle” image is a fitting one! On the one hand, there’s way more potential public funding for games in Germany than most people know. On the other hand, these funding programs often focus on different areas and rarely name games in particular. Furthermore, many funding programs don’t really fit well to the reality of video game development. All too often, the funding applications are very complex.

That’s why it’s always recommended to gather some advice on the topic beforehand from funding institutions, other developers or guides within our network, ideally way before you’re heading into your first appointed meetings. It’s fundamental that the application highlights the benefits that would come with you getting the funding, for example the number of jobs you’d bring to the region. Be sure to start early with funding plans for your project and bring a good amount of patience.

 

This year sees the first BIU eSports Summit at QUO VADIS. Why is this event happening as part of a developer conference? What is BIU expecting from the event?

Gregory Wintgens: eSports has made a significant leap over the past few years and is nowadays truly omnipresent. eSports events with more than 100.000 visitors and big investments in eSports departments of international publishers as well as leagues and tournaments are just some examples of proof thereof. A billion euro market is forming and is presenting a lot of prospect to developers and all other involved parties, relevant to Germany as a European hub in particular.

At the BIU eSports Summit, we’ll be discussing the chances and challenges that are brought onto the table by an unfolding eSports universe. Therefore, we’ve invited representatives of all relevant stakeholders: developers, league and tournament organizers, sponsors, sports scientists and the media. Among our speakers and panel participants are Arnd Benninghoff (CEO, MTGx Digital Ventures), Stefan Schuster (CEO, mm Sports), David Hiltscher (VP Gaming Communities, ESL), Dr. Christopher Grieben (Sports University Cologne), Andrew Spearin (Creative Director, New World Interactive), Felix Welling (Head of Corporate Development, VFL Wolfsburg), Lukas N.P. Egger (Head of Research, Dojo Madness), Al Yang (Lead Game Designer, Bigpoint), Arne Peters (VP of ESL Technology), Christian Kresse (CEO, eSports Marketing Blog), Mikael Haveri (Head of Self-Publishing, Housemarque) and Tim Rittmann (freelance journalist, i.a. Süddeutsche Zeitung).

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