The SwissGames Showcase is an annual mentorship programme that offers Swiss independent studios a tailor-made opportunity to be individually coached and connected with the industry. The programme was first initiated in 2020 to provide Swiss indie studios a connection to the market and business introductions despite event cancellations due to the pandemic.
The first edition was a great success: 7 out of 11 participating studios found partners. Among these successes, Vevey-based studio Digital Kingdom which signed its game Swordship to Thunderful games.
“While the world was going into a pandemic, we were finally coming up with a cool game prototype – Swordship – that we’d been trying to make work for almost two years. At this point we said to ourselves: “if we can’t get a publisher interested, then the game isn’t good enough”, we had a prototype and some slides. Now we had to go and meet people. We have to say that in our case the Pro Helvetia mentorship programme set up during the covid pandemic was a godsend. It came just at the time we needed it. After being selected, Jason Della Rocca took over the mentoring of our project. The main objective was to prepare us to pitch our game at online events. It was very nice to be able to ask Jason for a number of hours depending on our needs, questions etc. We worked on the economics of the project and received presentation tips.
As the events in the mentorship programme progress we have the opportunity to improve. We were able to benefit from our mentor’s knowledge of the industry and his network to present our project. We met with many publishers during almost eight months. It was a tense period because we advanced in closer contacts with three of them with the aim of closing a deal. It was the feeling and trust that made us sign with the German publisher Headup which was bought a few months later by Thunderful. The game was announced at their Thunderful World showcase in November 2021. Swordship is now in their portfolio. The game is scheduled for release in the summer of 2022.”
Benjamin Vurlod, lead artist at Digital Kingdom