Console giants such as Nintendo and Sony reside in Hesse. Nintendo, Sony Interactive, Konami, Bandai Namco: Hesse is home to some of the largest Japanese video game companies. This means that nowhere else in the republic is so much revenue generated with games hardware and software: The console market leaders Nintendo and Sony alone generate more than a billion euros in Germany with Switch and PlayStation products.
Besides, Hessen has established itself as an important studio location: unlike Hamburg or Berlin, the focus is not on Free2Play mobile and online games, but on console and PC games. Well-known developers, publishers, and service providers are at home in the greater Frankfurt area, including Crytek, Limbic Entertainment, and Deck13 Interactive.
Subsidiaries of international games groups in Hessen
- Bandai Namco Entertainment Germany (Frankfurt / Main) not only sells its brands such as Dark Souls, Dragon Ball, or One Piece but also third-party products — for example, Cyberpunk 2077.
- Konami Digital Entertainment (Eschborn) is the manufacturer of eFootball PES ( Pro Evolution Soccer ), Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Metal Gear Solid.
- Nintendo of Europe (Frankfurt / Main) is the European headquarters of the Japanese video games group and with 900 employees is by far the largest employer in the German games industry. The bestsellers include the Nintendo Switch brand consoles and series such as Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, and many more.
- Sony Interactive Entertainment / Sony PlayStation (Neu-Isenburg) supplies Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with PlayStation consoles, services, and games, including The Last of Us 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, and Ghost of Tsushima.
- Zenimax Germany (Frankfurt / Main) has recently become a subsidiary of the US software giant Microsoft. Right in the heart of ‘Mainhattan’, games such as Fallout, Skyrim or Doom are managed under the consumer brand Bethesda.
Games developer and publisher in Hessen
- Assemble Entertainment (Wiesbaden) is a comparatively young publisher who, with Gentlymad Studios, also has its development team. Best-known titles: Endzone: A World Apart, Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry, and Pizza Connection.
- BitComposer Interactive (Eschborn) specializes in game implementations of TV shows such as Schlag den Star, who knows that? or The Voice of Germany.
- Cloud Imperium Games (Frankfurt / Main) belongs to the studio network that is working on Star Citizen and Squadron 42. The online space flight simulations have been in development for ten years.
- Crytek (Frankfurt / Main) is one of the largest and most internationally known game manufacturers. The company not only produces its games like Crysis, Hunt, the VR climbing game The Climb or Ryse: Son of Rome but also develops its basic technology, the CryEngine, which is used in games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
- Deck13 Interactive (Frankfurt / Main) started with adventures like Ankh and Jack Keane and has been one of the leading German studios for PC and console games since The Surge and The Surge 2 at the latest. In 2015, Lords of the Fallen won the German Computer Game Award.
- id Software (Frankfurt / Main) is the German branch of the Texan game studio of the same name ( Doom, Quake ).
- Keen Games (Frankfurt / Main) is one of the most traditional game developers in the country. Big hit so far: the computer game award-winning action role-playing game Portal Knights.
- Limbic Entertainment (Langen) most recently developed the strategy game Tropico 6 for Kalypso Media and is currently working on Memories of Mars on behalf of 505 Games.
- Lotum (Bad Nauheim) is known for smartphone games such as 4 Pictures 1 Word, Word Blitz, and Quiz Planet
- Rokaplay (Darmstadt) is a publisher that markets games such as Stranded Sails and Harvest Life.
- Weltenbauer (Wiesbaden) builds VR applications, apps, and computer games. The construction simulator (international: Construction Simulator ), which is available for PC, console, and smartphone, is being developed together with the Düsseldorf publisher Astragon.
Games marketing and PR agencies in Hessen
- BXDXO Marketing Services (Bad Homburg) advises and supports game developers — from startups to large corporations.
- Red5 (Frankfurt / Main) organizes customer events, designs content marketing campaigns, and looks after the German-speaking communities of FIFA, FIFA Ultimate Team, and Battlefield, among others.
- ToLL Relations (Frankfurt / Main) is the communications agency for Sony PlayStation and Konami.
Games service provider in Hessen
- BiteTheBytes (Fulda)
- Falko Löffler (Ilbeshausen)
- IEM Consulting (Rödermark)
- Metricminds (Frankfurt / Main)
Games events in Hessen
- The two-day German Dev Days usually take place in Frankfurt / Main at the end of May — students and trainees can participate free of charge. The organizer is the Wiesbaden publisher Assemble Entertainment.
- The Hessen Games Week includes several events in the greater Frankfurt / Main area, including workshops, award ceremonies, and the German Dev Days.
Games funding in Hessen
Hessen is one of the very few federal states that do not offer dedicated funding for games studios and startups. Even the not necessarily over-ambitious announcements of the coalition agreement have been waiting for implementation for years — in the first step, only developers should benefit from serious games. Estimated budget: 200,000 euros. The location initiative Game Area Hessen scholarship developer in December 2020 in the form of a pilot project launched.
Studying games in Hessen (selection)
- Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences
- Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences)
- SAE Institute Frankfurt
- TU Darmstadt
Frankfurt: An epicenter of the German games industry was originally published in FrankfurtValley on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.