Keen Games: Search for new staff is Frankfurt devs' toughest challenge

More skilled workers and cultural recognition wanted by Frankfurt developers
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The search for new talent is the primary challenge facing game studios in Frankfurt today, the managing director of Keen Games has said.

“The biggest challenge nowadays is to find employees,” Jan Jöckel, MD of Keen Games told Develop in an interview about the game development scene in the German city.

“We have so much to do and the business is growing here. We have built a very strong base and now we need developers who would love to join us.”

Jöckel’s comment were backed up by Jan Wagner of Cliffhanger, who feels game developers in the area are in need of more support from the state and the creative industries as a whole.

“We have been struggling for proper support for a long time – while the city of Frankfurt has always been very supportive, on a regional and national level, games still are way behind the films as a creative industry,” he said.

“To me, this damages the potential for creating games outside the immediate market value – elevating the art of games to something more relevant for society at large beyond being a favourite pastime. I think if politicians did not see it as a kind of glorified IT industry with an added ‘bad for my kids’ effect, we could be much further along as an industry.”

Although a need to source new skilled employees and be recognised cultural were held in high regard, there is evidence that Frankfurt’s local government is taking action as far as game development its concerned.

Manuela Schiffner, director of the Centre of Creative Industries, said: “The importance of video games as an economic factor cannot be stressed enough. The Frankfurt Economic Development and the City of Frankfurt are proud of this dynamic industry and offer long-term and individual support for the games industry’s needs.

“Video games drive the creative and technological industries to ever-new heights. They are a promoter of innovation, and is this they are perfectly at home in the city of Frankfurt.”

Read more about game development in Frankfurt in our Region Focus.