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Which German states shine the brightest as games industry locations due to their political commitment to regional companies and actors? A survey of the German games industry gave top ranking to Bavaria, just ahead of Berlin, with a close third place going to North Rhine-Westphalia. These are the results of game’s (German Games Industry Association) industry barometer 2021, based on a poll of association members. Hamburg and Baden-Württemberg took fourth and fifth places, respectively.

“A number of Germany’s states have strengthened their regional commitment to the games industry considerably in the last several years. This has resulted in improved conditions in the respective locations, for example through higher and specified funding levels, games summits or dedicated hubs. This commitment is critical for games companies, as conditions vary starkly between the different German states – and, along with good general infrastructure and access to qualified employees, these conditions are often decisive when it comes to investing and locating. The importance of regional support has grown even more due to the launch of the national games funding – because it finally allows internationally competitive conditions for all of Germany, while the individual states can set specific focuses with their own funding programmes, such as support of young company founders. In this dynamic growth phase of the industry, all states, regardless of their size, can and should tap their own potential to their best advantage,” Felix Falk, Managing Director of game, said.

Just how strongly financial support for the games industry varies between states can be clearly seen when comparing, for example, North Rhine-Westphalia and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania: whereas 3 million euros goes to games production between the Rhine and the Ruhr annually, developers on the Baltic coast thus far receive nothing in funding. Hamburg reintroduced games funding in 2020, supporting the development of prototypes, among other things. The city state provides 520,000 euros for this purpose annually. Rhineland-Palatinate is set to launch a regional games funding programme amounting to 125,000 euros in late 2021. In 2020, federal states such as Berlin and Brandenburg as well as Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony and Saarland also increased their funding for computer and video games.