Since 2008, the organization’s mission has been to create job opportunities and economic growth by supporting the Dutch games industry and promoting entrepreneurship. Dutch Game Garden helps promising game startups by providing knowledge through events, incubation, and workshops as well as access to an ever-expanding network of industry professionals through its events, matchmaking, and affordable office space.
How are we doing so far?
In the early 2000s, the education system in the Netherlands saw an emergence in courses aimed at game design, development, and art. Universities and vocational schools started producing game graduates looking for jobs, as well as starting companies themselves. These educational institutions, together with industry experts, Taskforce Innovation, and the financial support of the Province and City of Utrecht, founded Dutch Game Garden in 2008.
DGG started with 12 companies and grew to 40+ studios over the years, providing an incubation program that propelled promising startups into global award-winning game studios. In 2010, DGG introduced the annual INDIGO showcase, an interactive exhibition of the most outstanding Dutch video games, which turned into an international event in 2016.
Since 2019, INDIGO has expanded beyond its showcase, also focusing on game business. DGG started the matchmaking service Game Garden Agency in 2018 to help game developers find publishers and work-for-hire projects. In 2020, Dutch Game Garden won the Game Bakery Best Community Award.
Results & impact
Dutch Game Garden has a measurable impact on the growth of the Dutch game sector. Over the years, DGG has housed over 140 game companies, with over 100 game start-ups in the incubation program, creating and assisting 400+ games companies and over 4000 game development students with training programs, events, matchmaking, education, recruitment, and lobbying. These efforts boosted the game development community and helped a significant number of game studios grow into successful and award-winning companies.
Some of the most talented game studios from the Netherlands call (or have called) Dutch Game Garden their home. Examples include Abbey Games (Reus, Renowned Explorers, Godhood), Vlambeer (Ridiculous Fishing, Nuclear Throne), RageSquid (Action Henk, Descenders), Tover (Tovertafel), and Ronimo Games (Awesomenauts, Swords & Soldiers). The assorted mix of creativity is what makes Dutch Game Garden a prime hub for game development in the Netherlands.
In October 2017, Dutch Game Garden’s Managing Director JP van Seventer won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dutch Game Awards for his contributions to the Dutch games industry.
Dutch Game Garden publishes the Games Monitor every three years since 2012. The Games Monitor looks into the trends and developments for applied and entertainment games in the Netherlands, such as the number of companies, jobs, and game students.
Analysis of a survey and discussions with experts are used to provide an in-depth analysis of the challenges the industry faces in achieving growth.
To put things into an international perspective, the Games Monitor also presents some findings for other European countries. The findings of the research were first presented in 2012, followed by a new edition in 2015 and 2018.
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