I’m sure a trophy from The Game Awards is a big deal for winning developers, but is it better than cold hard cash? Here’s what the winners of Germany’s annual Computer Game Awards come home with in the form of a national fund, and I think I might replace that with a handshake with Geoff Keighley.
This year’s Deutscher Computerspielpreis (DCP), as the event is called in its native language, was held on May 11 for the first time since 2019 in front of a live audience. “Especially this year, game developers deserved such a big stage, because the award-winning games were created in the difficult conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Felix Falk, Managing Director of the German Games Industry Association.
“Excellent games have been created that attract a lot of attention in Germany and abroad. This underscores Germany’s huge potential as a great place to develop games. Congratulations to all the winners of the German Computer Game Awards 2023.”
The main prize at this year’s event went to the retro-RPG game Chained Echoes (opens in a new tab), developed by Matthias Linda and published by Deck13, which won €100,000 ($109,000) “funding” for the best German game. Chained Echoes received another €25,000 for being nominated in the Best Newcomer category. Brilliant survival horror game Signalis (opens in a new tab) won the Best Debut category and a prize of €60,000, as well as €40,000 for Best Audio Design and €30,000 for being nominated for Best German Game.
It may seem strange to issue such prize money at an industry awards show – Geoff Keighley doesn’t issue checks to Hideo Kojima, after all – but the event is sponsored by the German federal government as part of its strategy to support and improve the home game development industry. (We do similar things here in Canada, mostly through tax credits, although we throw out odd donations from time to time (opens in a new tab) from time to time too).
“The strong performance of promising teams is proof of the great potential of the German gaming industry,” said Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. “The development of innovative games for the domestic and international market is an important factor for Germany as a business location. The task for the coming years will be to further develop the financing system to keep up with international competition.”
For those of us outside of Germany, it’s also a good way to get an insight into what’s going on inside. Some of the winning games, such as Signalis, are well known around the world, but others are less known: Best Expert Game (this may be a translation problem) Touch Type Tale Winner (opens in a new tab)for example, it’s a really clever RTS typing tutor crossover and 2D puzzle platformer Thief of Smiles (opens in a new tab)nominated for the Newcomer Award: Best Prototype, it can also be pretty cool.
I also like that they’re called Computer Game Awards. I miss the days when we used to call them “computer games”.
The full list of German Computer Game Awards 2023 is below. If you speak German, you can find out more about the whole thing at deutscher-computerspielpreis.de (opens in a new tab).
Best German Game (endowed €100,000 for the winning game)
- Chain echoes (Matthias Linda / Spotlight Deck13)
- The other two nominees will each receive €30,000:
- Beholder 3 (Paintbucket Games / Alawar Entertainment)
- Signalis (Rose Engine / Humble Games)
Best Family Game (endowed €40,000)
- Die magische Bretterbudenburg (meander books)
Newcomer Award: Best Debut (given €60,000 for the winning game)
- Signals (Rose Engine / Humble Games)
- The other two nominees will each receive €25,000:
- Chained Echoes (Matthias Linda / Deck13 Spotlight)
- Dome Keeper (Bippinbits / Raw Fury)
Newcomer Award: Best Prototype (given €50,000 for the winning game)
- The Light of Atlantis (Alina Fasen, Luisa Höhne, Vincent Krenzke, Simone Mayer, Alexander Nham / HAW Hamburg)
- The other four nominees will each receive €25,000:
- Sister’s Journey (Florian Lackner)
- Mail Tail (Robin Heisterkamp)
- Ova Magica (Claudia Gorsky)
- The Thief of a Smile (Lars Hinnerk Grevsmühl, Alina Hies, Felix Kosian, Marcel Zurawka)
Best Audio Project (endowed €40,000)
- Signals (Rose Engine / Humble Games)
Best Expert Game (endowed €40,000)
- The Tale of Touch Writing – Strategic Writing (Pumpernickel Studio / Epic Games)
Best Game Design (endowed €40,000)
- Dome Guardian (Bippinbits / Raw Fury)
Best Graphic Design (endowed €40,000)
- Abriss – Build to Destroy (Dating Games)
Best Innovation and Technology (endowed €40,000)
- Beethoven // Opus 360 (agon EV)
Best Mobile Game (endowed €40,000)
- Dreadrock dungeon (Christoph Minnameier)
Best Major Game (endowed €40,000)
- Observer 3 (Paintbucket Games / Alawar Entertainment)
Best International Game (Not Endowed)
- God of War Ragnarok (SIE Santa Monica Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Player of the Year (Ungifted)
- Pia Scholz (aka Shurjok)
Studio of the Year (endowed €50,000)
- Paint games (Berlin)