Background to the foundation
What is iGi?
Japan’s first incubation program for indie games.
It has been running since 2021 as a non-profit initiative of Marvelous’ industry-academia-government collaboration, which aims to build a creator-first ecosystem.
The program provides support not only for the completion of games, but also for a wide range of other areas such as distribution and promotion
Why support indie game development?
The indie game industry has experienced explosive growth since 2014, mainly on the PC game distribution platform Steam, and the number of indie games released continues to increase.
However, Japanese indie game developers face the following challenges
Isolated indie game creators
Lack of connections within the industry and a lack of people to talk to, making it easy to become isolated.
Little public support
Unlike other countries, there are no public institutions in Japan to support indie game creators, so creators have to do everything from development to release themselves.
Lack of know-how on “publishing indie games”
Game development itself can be done, but “releasing a work” requires a different kind of know-how.
iGi aims to solve these problems.
History of iGi
|Year of foundation||2021|
|Number of mentors||over 25|
|Number of sponsoring companies||13 companies and 2 organizations|
|Network of publishers||more than 80 companies|
|Exhibitions at national events||BitSummit, Tokyo Game Show, etc.|
Support provided by iGi
The program offers five main types of support to indie game developers.
Not just game development, but how to get people to play the games they have spent so much time making. How to get media coverage? We offer support from a variety of perspectives, including
Support for the development expertise needed to complete the game, including knowledge of game development itself and progress management, including team members.
After an interview with iGi and a screening process, the most appropriate mentor will be matched to your needs, challenges and team.
Participation in events
Participate as an iGi in major game events such as Tokyo Game Show and BitSummit.
Organization of Demo days
Pre-recorded pitches (presentation materials for selling the game) are shown at Demo Day, a presentation event to which mainly domestic and international publishers are invited. Question and answer sessions are also held.
Business know-how support, such as SNS operation methods and game sales and marketing methods.
iGi’s ultimate goal
The main goal of iGi is to bring the great works of indie game creators to the world.
Schedule for the 3rd Phase
|End of Feb.||Document review|
|Early to mid-March||Interviews|
|End of March||Participating teams confirmed, audits|
|Mid-April||Announcement of participating teams|
Nova AntarcticaReach the goal by making full use of craft and items. Survival action game set in Antarctica hundreds of years in the future.
MAGIC CHAOS“MAGIC CHAOS” is an online multiplayer bullet hell shooting party game for up to 4 players.
NeverAwakeA girl fights monsters in her dreams. …… A nightmarish twin-stick shooter aimed at a wide range of users.
Ninja or DieJump to move. Click to control this exhilarating roguelike action game.
RelashTeam up with your past self and conquer the retrograde world. A brand new escape puzzle game where you work with your past self.
34EVERLASTA super-concentrated action entertainment for busy working adults, with game loops that can be completed in as little as 10 minutes and no game overs.
CALMEAn exploration-action adventure set in the cliff-hugging port of Calme, surrounded by a perilous sea of clouds.
Hell HellMultiplayer cooperative action-stealth game combining tag and hide-and-seek.
Rainbow SeaYou are a mere mortal and your only weapon to cross over to the gods is a lie. A Japanese-style point-and-click adventure with a multi-branched storyline.
SONOKUNIFind an ingenious way out of the one-hit death loop and run through it as fast as you can. Hardcore high-speed action.
Rustil: Eternal Labyrinth Castle*【Special quota】An exhilarating roguelike action in which players conquer a labyrinth castle by making full use of techniques, magic and items.
For those who are considering supporting the project
We received support from 12 companies and 2 organizations in the first phase and 13 companies and 2 organizations in the second phase.
iGi is looking for companies that support the aims of our incubation program and are willing to provide support in various areas such as marketing and mentoring for participating teams.
For educational institutions
We are looking for educational institutions that agree with the aims of our incubation program and can support our activities as a place of study to develop students who will go on to become global leaders, such as long-term internships and study groups.
In the second phase, Kobe Electronics College joined the program and held events in Kobe.
For local authorities
Under the motto “Creators First”, we are actively working to create an ecosystem for Japanese indie game creators to operate in the global market.
In the first phase from June to November 2021, the first six months of our cooperation plan with local governments, we have received support from Kobe City and are currently planning measures for indie game creators to work in Kobe City.
iGi will establish close cooperation with local governments across Japan and actively promote the creation of local communities to enable indie game creators to work in different regions.
Collaboration projects that can be proposed
Through public lectures and workshops by iGi mentors, we will make proposals tailored to the problems faced by local governments, based on the creation of communities for local indie game creators to interact with each other.
The following is an example.
- Working together to create a system for the development of global digital creative human resources with a focus on indie game creators and the creation of jobs for young people.
- Repurposing vacant houses and other underused spaces as facilities for creators.
- Bridging the gap between local communities in the field of indie games.
- Promote international exchange with a focus on interaction with indie game creators in overseas sister and partner citie
Requirements for local authorities
- Municipalities that support and cooperate in building a sustainable creator-first ecosystem.
- Both regional and grassroots communities are welcome to participate.
Local authorities with experience in implementing projects related to games and creativity, such as e-sports, animation and manga, are welcome.
How to apply
Interested parties should contact the iGi Management Office（firstname.lastname@example.org）.