Berlin’s gaming industry: what you need to know
Berlin’s games industry is booming: there’s an abundance of jobs, a huge range of companies working on diverse projects, and jaw-dropping levels of state investment to be taken advantage of. This is a city that’s become an opportunity-rich playground for games makers from across the globe, and an inspiring place to build a career.
Discover what makes Berlin a great place to start a career in video game development.
In Berlin’s thriving games industry, the numbers speak for themselves
Germany is Europe’s No. 1 games market and as its capital, Berlin is right at its centre. The capital region is home to a fifth of the country’s gaming companies, and amongst the 300+ companies that call the capital home, over 180 of them are games developers and publishers.
With such a diverse ecosystem, it’ll come as no surprise that some of the best-known names in gaming were born and bred in Berlin. The success of companies like Kolibri, 231 Play, Wooga, DECA Games and Yager have truly put Berlin on the global gaming map. Each one of them has attracted large-scale investment and, in some cases, acquisition by multinational gaming and entertainment companies. This international attention has helped these names expand their operations, grow their studios and provide new opportunities for hundreds of gaming professionals in the city.
Berlin’s gaming industry is hungry for talent
While the numbers are jaw-dropping, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Right now, gaming companies all around the world are suffering from a lack of skilled workers: the jobs are there, but there just isn’t the skilled talent to fill them.
Companies in Berlin have decided to take matters into their own hands: a growing number of the capital’s developers and publishers offer jobs to students and graduates, recognising the skills and knowledge gained through specialist studies in games development.
But the industry is also keen to diversify its talent pool. While it’s no secret that the video games industry has traditionally been a male-dominated sector, concrete efforts are being made to ensure that there’s a broader range of voices behind the games we love. With greater diversity comes an opportunity for new stories to be told.
Berlin offers incredible international networking opportunities for games industry professionals
Throughout the year, there are several large-scale industry events like Games Ground and IFA Berlin, plus regular networking and meetup events run by Medianet Berlin-Brandenburg and berlingamescene.com. With Berlin’s games scene being highly international and multi-lingual, these events often take place in English, allowing industry professionals from all over the world to connect.
In a recent study by creative industry networking organisation, Medianet Berlin-Brandenburg, results showed that gaming professionals most valued the region’s networking opportunities, with 80% of respondents rating networking as either good or very good.
The German government has a €70 million fund available to games companies
Announced in 2020, the German Games Fund offers non-repayable government grants to games companies of all sizes. The €70 million fund allows games companies to claim back up to 50% of their development costs on projects ranging from prototypes to €40m+ AAA games.
Since the fund’s conception, the German games industry has seen an average year-on-year growth of 15.5%. Thanks to the fund, the number of people employed in the development and publishing sector has grown by 7% in the past year alone.
Going forward, the German Games Industry Association predicts that the initiative will need to expand further to ensure that growth in the sector doesn’t stagnate, rising to €100 million annually.
Inspiration and opportunity to collaborate lie around every corner
Berlin is home to thriving industries across the creative arts, and collaboration across creative disciplines is the norm. In this regard, Berlin’s gaming sector is no different: 1 in 4 of Berlin’s gaming companies work on projects that fall outside the realms of video games. Industries where the skills of video games professionals are regularly used include music, film, tech, education, tourism, and construction amongst many others.
In a city that is willing to experiment – including in more traditional industries – opportunities for game developers, designers and artists go beyond working on video games themselves. They are able to apply their skills across a range of industries, and push creative boundaries as they do so.
For all these reasons and more, it’s clear to see why so many games creators have chosen Berlin as their base. If you’re serious about building an international career in the gaming sector, you too can take advantage of the incredible opportunities in Berlin’s growing games industry.
Want to take the first step to your video games career in Berlin? Find out more about our specialist video games degrees and start building your career today.