Ecosystem Spotlight - Groenigen

Why Gronigen?

Groenigen is a small student city in the Netherlands that may be the best place in the world for indie game developers to live and work and Dutch indies already know it. It's particularly unique in the world for hosting not one but two unique indie game developer communities, Indietopia (in partnership with the city) and Game Bakery (a co-op that's more privately focused). 

It is like a condensed version of Amsterdam that's far cheaper as well as being even more convenient. The city is fairly small and immensely/conveniently walkable with most things being a 1-2 hr distance at most. It has everything an indie needs in terms of amenities, great bars and restaurants, gorgeous parks and canals where everyone can live nice and comfortably within a budget of $1k EUR/a month. Additionally for the game designers who love and study board games, there are board game stores, games workshop, model and remote control car type hobby shops everywhere. It's almost like the city was founded by an Indie developer. Rounding things off are a nascent startup scene as well and plenty of graduates available for staffing at affordable prices. See our galleries below

Visiting Indietopia and Game Bakery and an example of one of the board game stores mentioned earlier. It's a shame that lockdowns at the time still kept most things closed.

There are few places in the world that have both clusters of game developers, let alone being convenient enough for everyone to meet often. Most of us were resigned to only seeng ourselves at GDC every year. Sometimes it's been the only way we ever met or years, decades even. What we've found in Gronigen is incredibly unique, special and yet still young and fragile. IThe closest thing to an international hit that's come out of here so far is Convoy, a flawed but innovative squad-based tactical car combat RPG described as "FTL  meets Mad Max".  It's something we don't ever want to die and hope we play a critical role in growing as well as eventually putting the place on the map on the world stage along with the city's first big hit played by the world over. There is no more deserving city to sprout Europe's Nintendo from or the next Ubisoft.