FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

INCUBATION

Q.

Does it cost anything to join The Game Incubator?

A. Yes. There is a small fee covering our services and it is dependent on the size of your team. However, the cost is heavily subsided for startups that is not making money yet. 

Q.

Do we have to submit a business plan?

A. No you don’t. You do however need to think and give initial answers about some commercial aspects of your game.

Q.

Do we need to be at The Game Incubator during the entire program?

A. We respect and fully understand that you have to balance the needs of your business and family, but to maximizing the value of the program you should really consider setting up shop in either of The Game Incubataror's two sites. We do however have several obligatory workshops, events and live speaker series with related assignments that you should apply to your business, all of which you need to attend and pass to be able to continue in the program. If you are not present, you will miss the content and it might be difficult for you to catch up, hence risking your company's right to remain within The Game Incubator Program. It's in your own best interest to dedicate yourself to being here as much as possible during the program.

Q.

We have many game ideas, can we submit several?

A. No. But once you have entered our program you will be able to test other ideas later.

Q.

Once accepted to the program, what is expected of me and my team?

A. First, the co-founders should decide who will become CEO, head of sales and head of marketing. These are roles that will require dedication. You will be busy running the company, getting a handle on sales and marketing, so dont expect to be as much hands-on with game devlopment as the rest of the team. During the incubation program's four phases there will be several scheduled workshops and assignments that you need to attend and hand in. There will also be three Pitching Gates where you pitch your game/product to us and our advisory board. You need to pass each gate to continue to the next phase.

Q.

Do you provide legal assistance, i.e., signing contracts etc.?

A. Yes. For as long as you remain within the program we will give you legal assistance related to your business.

Q.

How do we know you won't steal our idea?

A. Everybody has ideas. What really matter is the abilities that brings them to life. If we accept your submission we give you and your team a chance to build a business around your idea. We strongly recommend and encourage you to talk to everyone about your idea. We only work with startups that validate their ideas. The submission you send to us is also an NDA.

Q.

What team sizes does your game startups usually have?

A. Generally the submissions we grant a seat in the program have team sizes that alters between 1 to 6 people. In our expereince that is the ideal size for making a great game startup. If your team is bigger than that we suggest you secure and bring additional funding with you when you enter the program, as we wont fund such big teams.

Q.

Will you help us running the company, take care of sales and running our marketing?

A. Our business developers will help and coach you but they wont running the company for you. That is your job. Our program is built for having the co-founders of the company becoming the CEO, head of sales and head of marketing.

Q.

What type of startups does The Game Incubator work with?

A. As our name suggets, we are focused on game startups. The majority of the pitches we get are from teams that want to develop games. However we also work with startups that makes services, platforms, software,  middleware, events and goods that are directly, or indirectly, related to the game industry.

Q.

What are some companies that have gone through The Game Incubator Program?

A. Examples include Coffee Stain Studios, Stunlock Studios, Pieces Interactive (THQ Nordic), PocApp Studios, Flamebait Games, IGDB.com, Palindrome, Coilworks, Hörberg Productions, Ludosity and many more.

Q.

Can I stop by The Game Incubator with no appointment?

A. No. Our business developers, which most likely are the ones youl'd like to talk to, have rather busy schedules and cannot meet you on the fly if you show up unannounced. The best way to get our attention is by submitting your application or through referrals from people in our network.

Q.

I have an idea and want to start a company but it's not related to games. Can I still apply to you?

A. Here at Gothia Science Park we have another incubator non-game related startups called Gothia Inkubator. Please go here and contact anyone in the column for "Affärsutveckling och Gothia Science Park Inkubator" (Business Development and Gothia Science Park Incubator).

Q.

If my application is rejected can I apply again?

A. Yes, certainly! You can apply many times. Several of our more successful startups had to try a couple of times until we accepted them.

FINANCE

Q.

Do you invest in the companies that go through The Game Incubator Program?

A. Yes. We invest in and support the startup with services, such as, coaching, activities, game event trips, infrastructure, heavily subsidised office rent and additional resources (hardware, software etc) during the total 15 month incubation program. 

Q.

Do you take equity in your startups?

A. No.

Q.

Does it cost money to participate in The Game Incubator Program?

A. Yes – For office rent we charge a heavily subsidised and symbolic sum, between 150 - 250 SEK ($17-29), especially for the startups that arent making money yet. If a startup find success we expect them to be able to pay more appropriate or full rent. Other than that we dont charge the startups anything.

However FYI, to start a company in Sweden costs 50,000 SEK ($5965) that you have to pay to Skatteverket (the Swedish Tax Agency).

Q.

Do you give startups that join your program an upfront payment? If so then how much?

A. No. Don't confuse us with more traditional incubators or accelerators. Since we are government funded our processes and program works differently.

Q.

Since you don't take equity in your startups then how do you make money?

A. We are government funded. Our main task is to help start new game companies in Sweden and build out the Swedish game industry. As long we do that we retain our funding.

Q.

We are working on a game but need investment to continue. Can you help us?

A. You can apply to our program here. If you get accepted you'll have 15 months to hone your development and business skills that will help you find a sustainable business model for your company and game. We will help you prepare for meetings with, and introduce you to, domestic and international investors and publishers, with whom you can discuss your investment needs.

WHY SHOULD I APPLY?

Q.

What will I get out of going The Game Incubator Program?

A. Coaching and Mentorship: One of the biggest benefits of going through The Game Incubator Program is being having access to knowledgeable business developers. You will have access The Game Incubator team, game industry veterans, investors, experienced professionals with world class expertise in their field to provide you with guidance. We also host several events where you get the chance to mingle with the Swedish, as well the international, game industry elite.

Access to The Game Incubator network: The Game Incubator network is made up of over 150 company founders. They hail from various walks of life, locations and have their own area of expertise. At The Game Incubator you'll connect with a constantly growing list of domestic and international designers, engineers, publishers, investors, marketers and founders.

Pitching: Following The Game Incubator program closely will make pitching your game feel like second nature. You will learn how to tell your story in the most effective way as possible when talking to investors and publishers.

Brand: The Game Incubator is one of the oldest incubators dedicated to games and is ranked as one of the top game industry clusters in the northern hemisphere. Surrounding The Game Incubator brand is an dynamic group of people, ranging from publishers, investors, platform holders, IP owners, press, universities, industry veterans, all the way up to government officials and politicians. The Game Incubator is also an international brand as the team attend several game shows and events, Gamescom, GDC, ChinaJoy, NordicGame among other. Also, The Game Incubator is a crucial part of Sweden Game Arena, the Swedish game industry hub for startups, education and research, that have been an active participant at several international game events. Sweden Game Arena runs the annual Sweden Game Conference in Skövde, where The Game Incubator always is present. With all this in mind, joining The Game Incubator means you'll be seen in industry relevant light.

Game community: During The Game Incubator program you'll work in our offices, either in Skövde or Göteborg, along with your batchmates. Everyone will be at the same stage and will offer encouragement, advice, and support. Think of it as a camp for game developers. Some of the most important relationships you will develop will be with your batchmates. Many of the companies that have graduated our incubation program are now working together, exchanging services and lifting each other up. Skövde's game industry currently consists of more than 700 people and is constantly growing, this is community where The Game Incubator is a crucial hub of.  

Chance: Whereas most other incubators and accelerators tend to avoid bringing on too many game startups we want nothing but game startups. The more the merrier. Other incubators and accelerators tend to focus and prioritize other industries. A game startup that applies to such a incubator or accelerator will have a much steeper hill to climb, especially if there aren't anyone that knows the game industry well around at the incubator or accelerator. Here at The Game Incubator we have been doing this for a while. Your chance of bringing your game to life will be bigger with us than many other places.  

Exciting journey: Collaboration and support, inclusiveness, classic and DIY problem solving, creativity, taking risks, embracing failure, transparency, being quick and nimble, is what The Game Incubator is all about. We want you to get out of your comfort zone and turn your idea into a successful company. It will be the journey of your life. We wont lie, it will be hard work but we guarantee you will have fun.

Q.

Why should I choose you over any other incubator?

A. Chances are that other incubators prioritizes other industries over games and therefore does not have the same game industry insight, experience, international network and the same local community that we do. Something we have learned over the years is that the traditional tech and IT startup incubation methods doesn't work that great for games, so we have developed our own exclusively for game startups. However it's your decision to pick the incubator that you think will be best for you.

TIME

Q.

We just applied to The Game Incubator. When will we get a reply?

A. We receive heaps of applications for each batch and our team of business developers review each one individually. We respond to everyone with a yes or no, but please note that it could take a couple of weeks before we get back to you.

Q.

How long is The Game Incubator Program?

A. 15 months.

Q.

Can and will you sometimes extend the incubation period for some startups?

A. Our incubation program is designed to fit all the startups we bring in. If a startup needs more time it means they haven't applied the knowledge they've been taught throughout the program. Only under very very special circumstances would we be open to the idea of extending the incubation period for a single startup.

Q.

15 months? That seems like a short development time for the AAA openworld RPG we want to make. Would it be possible to make it in that time?

A. No. We often get submissions from teams with ambitions to make games in the AAA range that requires a large upfront investment. However that is not the type of submissions we usually accept, not because we don't like them, but for the fact that they tend to need investments well outside the range we feel comfortable operating in. If AAA games (high production value, large team pipeline, outsourcing, in-house tech etc) is what your startup is all about you'll be better off pitching your game to large publishers, investors and platform owners from the get-go.

Q.

We are experienced devs, we got our business in order, but would like to move our office to Skövde or Göteborg and become part of your game community. Could we join the incubation program but fast track it?

A. While we cannot provide a custom program for all our startups but if your team have significant track record (AAA experience, several and successful games released, come with funding etc) we are willing to make some changes for you.

Q.

What is the working hours at The Game Incubator?

A. Our startups are free to set their own working hours as long they are present at the obligatory workshops, assignment days and events during the program. Some startups work more hours than others. It depends on the company culture they want to build. We however advice them to find a good work/life balance. The working hours for the The Game Incubator team are between 8:00-17:00.

LOCATION

Q.

Do you have an office in Stockholm? We live / planning to move to, Stockholm to start our game studio. Can we still apply to your program?

A. No. Our offices are located in Skövde and Göteborg.

Of course, you are free to apply to the program. If you are accepted into our program you are free to live wherever suits you best, but bare in mind that you'll have to be present at the obligatory workshops, events and assignment days we hold. So prepare yourself for commuting to Skövde a fair bit in that case. To be totally honest, we would prefer if you started your company in either Skövde or Göteborg because that way we could help you more and you can become an active member in our community. Also some of our financiers love to see new companies start in the county of Västra Götaland.

Q.

Does all that go The Game Incubator program live in Skövde or Göteborg?

A. Most team members of our startups live in, or near, Skövde or Göteborg. While that is not a requirement the startups tend to find our subsidised office rent, hardware and software support and access to our business developers and game community be a too good offer to pass up on.

Q.

I have a family so moving to Skövde / Göteborg / Sweden is complicated. Do you have other startups with staff that have children?

A. Yes, several of our studios have team members that have children. Skövde is a great place to raise children. Safe, close to nature, affordable living cost and by train not far away from Stockholm or Göteborg, the two metropolitan centers of Sweden. Göteborg is the second biggest city in the country with plenty of work opportunities for other family members. Sweden is viewed as one of the best countries to raise a family due to the high social security, free school and a healthy work/life balance which will allow you to spent a lot of time with your children.

Q.

If we join The Game Incubator can you help us with getting a visa and relocation?

A. Our current program does not include those services but here are some useful information and links for you to get started.

Depending on your nationality, situation and our agreement with you, you'll need to get a visa to stay and work in Sweden. If you are an EU citizen it should be a fairly smooth and frictionless affair to move to Sweden. If you are from outside the EU you'll have to apply for a working visa. Due to the intensive refugee wave that came to Sweden between 2013 - 2017 the Swedish Migration Agency have had to change their processes a bit. Acquiring a Swedish working visa now takes a bit longer so we suggest you start looking into this early. Depending on your case and our agreement it could be possible for you to apply for the working visa, and while it is being processed you could come to Sweden on tourist visa to join The Game Incubator. That would allow you to spend 3 months in Sweden. After that you have to leave Sweden for 3 months. During that time away you could continue in The Game Incubator program and stay in touch with us online until your working visa is granted. While we certainly want people and teams from all over the world applying to us we don't have a fast-track or easy process for this. We will certainly help as much as we can but it would ultimately come down to your own effort, diligence and eagerness to come to Sweden and join The Game Incubator program.

FYI, finding a place to live in Sweden tend to be a bit challenging, especially in the bigger cities or those that have universities (both which Skövde and Göteborg has), so dont wait with looking into this.

Skövde links: Skövdebostäder, Lorentzon, Skövdehem, Willhem, Rapp Fastigheter, Cederqvist Fastigheter.

Göteborg links: Blocket, Botrygg, Derome Förvaltning, Förbo, Gårdstensbostäder, Rikshem, Västa Linden, Vätternäs Förvaltning, Örgryte Bostad.

Q.

I've been to Stockholm but not Skövde and Göteborg. What kind of places are those?

A. Skövde and Göteborg are both cities in the county of Västra Götaland. Västra Götaland is a county that stretches from the center to the coast in the the south-western part of Sweden.

Located next to North Sea and Kattegat Göteborg is the second biggest city in Sweden with large industry clusters in automotive, medtech and microwaves&RF. Göteborg and it's people is known for it's warm and friendly nature. There are plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants throughout the city. To get around one can use the iconic trams that the city is known for. If one feel the urge to cool off in the ocean it is only a 30 minute tram ride away.

Skövde is a small city with a population of 55,000 in the heartland of Sweden at the foot of Mount Billingen with industry clusters in games, automotive and defence. The city have been in an intensive growth phase for the last 15 years, where Skövde's constantly growing game industry have and is playing an important role. While not as metropolitan as Göteborg or Stockholm in Skövde one can get the best of both city and countryside life. Being located at the foot of Mount Billingen means that the forest and animal life is never far away. Göteborg is only one hour away by train.

Q.

We are an international game company and are interested in sending a small team to work in Sweden. Could we apply to The Game Incubator?

A. Yes, certainly. You can apply like any other startup. Also feel free to contact us on thegameincubator@gsp.se so we can discuss this further.

PARTNERS

Q.

What benefits do you grant your advisory board and affiliated partners and can my company join?

A. Other than being part of our game community and the the possibility of influencing our development environment, being a member in our advisory board also gives early bird seats at pitching sessions from our game studios. These are great opportunities for early investment or M&A deals. In exchange for these perks a board member might be asked to participate in, and contribute to our incubation program. We want them to share their knowledge and expertise during scheduled workshops and seminars.

Yes. We are open to the idea of bringing in other and new board members. Having said that, we want to keep the board member line up as varied, nimble and manageable as possible. Please contact us on thegameincubator@gsp.se regarding your case and we can start this conversation.

Q.

As a partner, we would like to set up an office in either of The Game Incubator's two sites to be close to the community. Could you help us with that?

A. Yes. Depending on what you preference, business and space requirements are we can help to set up offices in either Skövde or Göteborg. If you are looking for something bigger we would suggest Skövde as The Game Incubator team is also employees of Gothia Innovation, the company that runs Gothia Science Park in Skövde. Compared to Göteborg where The Game Incubator is located in only one building, The Game Incubator at Gothia Science Park's campus in Skövde spans several buildings, areas and is constantly growing. Contact us on thegameincubator@gsp.se 

ABOUT US

Q.

You don't take equity in your startups, then what is your end goal?

A. Our end goal is to help start new game companies in Sweden and build out the Swedish game industry.

Q.

What is your relationship to Högskolan i Skövde (University of Skövde)?

A. Many of our startups hail from the University of Skövde. Next to Gothia Science Park lies the Univesity of Skövde which have had a bachelor programme in Computer Game Development since 2002. Students that goes the Computer Game Development programme can choose between six tracks: Design, Game Writing, Grafik (Graphics), Programmering (Engineering), Ljud (Sound) and Musik (Music). Today there are over 500 game development students at the university. In Sweden 40% of all students that studies game development on a university level does that in Skövde. What sets the University of SKövde and it's Game Development programme apart from other similar educations is the option for the students to smoothly transition into the industry and kickstart their game careers by turning the games they made at the university into real products via the assistance by The Game Incubator at Gothia Science Park. They can enter the industry at positions they are most fit for and passionate about. No more need for grinding at entry level QA positions to get that sweet Producer or Concept Artist role you've always dreamed of! The students doesn't have to worry about leaving Skövde and starting over in a new city somewhere else as this transition happens just next door over from the university.

Q.

What the ratio between men and women at The Game Incubator's startups?

A. Men 70%, women 30%. Our goal and ambition is to bring that ratio to 50-50.

Q.

What is the average age across The Game Incubator's startups?

A. 23-26.

Q.

What is your relationship to Gothia Science Park?

A. Gothia Science Park is a technology and research park located in Skövde. It is the industry node in the Triple Helix constellation (university-government-industry) that it makes together with Skövde Kommun and the University of Skövde. It was established in 1998, just next to the university campus. Gothia Innovation is the company running Gothia Science Park. At Gothia Innovation is a team of senior business developers and game industry professionals who provides assistance in establishing new companies, incubation, business and management support. Gothia Innovation have two incubators; Gothia Inkubator - for all type of startups, and The Game Incubator - which is exclusively focusing on game startups.

Q.

What is your relationship to Sweden Game Arena?

A. As the game industry in Skövde started to gain more traction and grow in size with various game industry projects and activities a initiative was launched to collect it all under one banner. The initiative got the name Sweden Game Arena. The strategic partners and financiers of the initiative are the University of Skövde, Skövde kommun, Gothia Innovation and Västra Götalandsregionen. The goal of the initiative is to make Skövde, Gothia Science Park and the University of Skövde the natural choice for entrepreneurs, companies and investors. Sweden Game Arena is also a vessel and brand by which Skövde's game industry have reached out globally and built several international bridges at events like Gamescom, GDC, Game Connection, Paris Game Week and Nordic Game. Sweden Game Arena is also in charge of Sweden Game Conference, Skövde's own game event. The Game Incubator, being a important hub of Skövde's, as well as Sweden's, game industry is often present where you see the Sweden Game Arena banner.

REQUESTS

Q.

Can we meet you at any global game event/trade show (GDC, Gamescom etc)?

A. Yes. We usually go to GDC in San Francisco, Gamescom and Paris Game Week where we first and foremost attend Game Connection that is occuring at the same time. To ensure to get a meeting with us please book an appointment via Game Connection's booking system. Like everyone during those event weeks we are very busy but there might be some opportunities to get a meeting in with some of our business developers there. Shoot us an email at thegameincubator@gsp.se and we'll pass it on to the BD's that are going.

Q.

We dont want to join The Game Incubator but wounder if you still could give us advice?

A. You are always welcome to pitch your game idea to us. Just send in your application and we will get back to you.

Q.

We are interested in setting up an office in Sweden to become part of the Swedish game industry. Can you help us?

A. Yes. Contact us on thegameincubator@gsp.se and we will get to you asap.

Q.

I'd like to sell my product / service for The Game Incubator's various startups to use. Can I contact you?

A. Sure. We get requests from service and product vendors that want to do business with our startups all the time. Pitch your offer in a clear and short email to thegameincubator@gsp.se and we will pass the information on to our community. If any startup is interested they will contact you.

Q.

I'm starting a game studio. Can I meet with you?

A. Shoot us an email on thegameincubator@gsp.se and we'll get back to you on our availability.

Q.

We are an incubator / accelerator, can you share your processes and program with us?

A. We have incubated games since 2004, seen our fair share of failures and successes, and fine tuned our program many times. We would like to believe we have a somewhat decent insight of how to build successful game studios and the ecosystem surrounding them. However, what works for us might not work for you and we fail to see how it benefits us giving all our hard work away for free. Having said that, we are always open for various forms of collaboration. If we could find a mutually beneficial collaboration with you we would be interested in discussing this further. Contact us at thegameincubator@gsp.se