A new incubation program started this May at Dutch Game Garden. The revamped program kicks off with new companies, new experts, new mentors and a new approach.

The incubation program helps promising young game studios with business and entrepreneurship. This includes individual coaching, network meetings, and team training, as well as consults with experts in diverse areas (law, funding, strategy, pitching, marketing, production, publishing, distribution, monetization, HR). By drawing upon the expertise of skilled mentors, each game studio learns a great deal in a short amount of time.

Every first Wednesday of the month, the startups will gather at Dutch Game Garden in Utrecht. On this day, they will learn with and from their peers about how to run a business. Experts in the games industry will drop by for Q&A sessions and feedback rounds.

The Game Business Skill Tree

The program offers a new, ‘gamified’ approach. Incubation Manager Dr. Menno van Pelt-Deen adapted a typical game system to an educational program in game business. Skill trees are commonly used in adventure and role playing games. They represent the player’s progression in a tree-like structure, resembling a family tree or a mind map. Every node in the tree represents something that entrepreneurs should think about before (and after) releasing their game, ranging from business strategy and company vision to marketing and community management. In a way, the skill tree functions as an awareness chart: it provides a clear overview that pinpoints the subjects that the startup has yet to tackle.

The game studios participating

This May, more than 14 startups enrolled in the program. Here is a selection of studios in the new incubation program: