German government wants games like Baldur's Gate 3 to 'also go on to be developed in Germany'

 Swen Vincke with an armful of Golden Joystick Awards.
Swen Vincke with an armful of Golden Joystick Awards.

Last year, we were slightly surprised to learn that not only does the German government sponsor a videogame award ceremony, it gives serious cash prizes to most of the winners. At the 2023 German Computer Game Awards—aka the Deutscher Computerspielpreis (DCP)—retro RPG Chained Echoes won Best German Game and a €100,000 endowment, and at this year's ceremony on April 18, the same honor and cash prize went to Everspace 2 and Hamburg-based developer Rockfish Games.

One award that doesn't come with a cash prize is Best International Game, which—surprise surprise—went to Baldur's Gate 3 and Larian this year. It would be a little weird if the German government wrote Swen Vincke and the Belgian studio a check just to say, hey, loved the RPG, so another trophy for the trophy pile will have to do.

The point of the cash prizes is of course to support and encourage German game development, and Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary at Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, says he wants to ensure that German studios produce games like Baldur's Gate 3 in the future. (And also do some climate action, I assume.)

The "wide range and creativity of games developed in Germany" demonstrated at this year's German Computer Game Awards "must be expanded further, and the potential of the industry must be utilized even more," said Kellner. "As the federal government, we want to make an important contribution to this through our new games funding. The funding is to help ensure that games such as this year's best international game also go on to be developed in Germany."

The funding Kellner refers to is a grant program launched by the German government in 2020 "to promote the development of computer and video games in Germany in order to achieve international competitiveness." The German Games Industry Association noted that Canada, the UK, and France have established more substantial game development industries than Germany with the help of similar federal funding programs.

"Once again, we can see the huge potential of Germany as a location for the games industry, especially as this year there were more games made possible by federal funding than ever before," said Felix Falk, managing director of the German Games Industry Association, of this year's awards.

With his comment about ensuring that "games such as this year's best international game also go on to be developed in Germany," Kellner clearly meant that he wants to see German games rival Baldur's Gate 3's enormous success, but since Larian has decided not to continue making D&D games, maybe a German studio could literally have a shot at Baldur's Gate 4? Get that pitch deck ready, Piranha Bytes.

Below are all of the awards given out at last week's 2024 German Computer Game Awards ceremony, and their associated prizes:

Best German Game (prize money: 100,000 euros)
Everspace 2 (Rockfish Games)

The other nominees will each receive 30,000 euros:

Atlas Fallen (Deck 13 Interactive/Focus Entertainment)
Fall of Porcupine (Critical Rabbit/Assemble Entertainment)

Best International Game (not endowed)
Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Best Family Game (prize money: 40,000 euros)
Spells & Secrets (Alchemist Interactive/rokaplay)

Newcomer Award – Best Debut (prize money: 60,000 euros)
Ad Infinitum (Hekate/NACON)

The other nominees will each receive 25,000 euros:

Fall of Porcupine (Critical Rabbit/Assemble Entertainment)
Lose CTRL (Play From Your Heart)

Newcomer Award – Best Prototype (prize money: 50,000 euros)
Misgiven (Symmetry Break Studio)

The other nominees will each receive 25,000 euros:

Bloodletter (Katharina “Mikey” Müller, David Cafisso, Marvin Braun, Alica Schneider/Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin)
EcoGnomix (Lars Hinnerk Grevsmühl, Lars Eble, Bahy Nguyen, Marcel Zurawka, Alec Shae)
Footgun: Underground (Eduard Dobermann, Theo Lohmüller, Georg Nimke, Robert Pistea, Lukas Salewsky)
REPLICORE (Sarah Inés Roeder, Rody Nawezi, Leonhard Gläser, Maximilian Götz/HAW Hamburg)

Best Innovation and Technology (prize money: 40,000 euros)
Marble Maze (Fox-Assembly)

Best Serious Game (prize money: 40,000 euros):
Friedrich Ebert – Der Weg zur Demokratie (Playing History/Stiftung Reichspräsident-Friedrich-Ebert-Gedenkstätte)

Best Audio Design (prize money: 40,000 euros)
Ad Infinitum (Hekate/NACON)

Best Game Design (prize money: 40,000 euros)
Lose CTRL (Play From Your Heart)

Best Graphic Design (prize money: 40,000 euros)
The Bear – A Story from the World of Gra (Mucks! Games)

Best Mobile Game (prize money: 40,000 euros)
Cat Rescue Story (Tivola Games)

Best Story (prize money: 40,000 euros)
Ad Infinitum (Hekate/NACON)

Studio of the Year (prize money: 50,000 euros)
Pixel Maniacs

Player of the Year (award only)
Maurice Weber

Special Jury Award (prize money: 10,000 euros)
Gaming ohne Grenzen