UPDATE: Applications for Round 1 of the Incubator are closed. Round 2 Applications open up in early March. Check back then!

We are excited to announce that the 2018 Incubator is now accepting applications! As a part of our work building the NYC Games Hub and the $450,000 grant from Empire State Development, the Game Center is once again able to offer seats in the Incubator to game developers outside NYU. We invite and encourage applications from folks with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences.

This year, in an effort to make the Incubator accessible to a wider range of people, there are two application rounds. The first round is open 12/12/17 to 1/21/18. The second round will open on 3/5/18 and close on 4/11/18. Applicants are not required to apply to both rounds. Read below for full details about the application process and the Incubator program, or go right to the application, here.

We’re hosting an information session on Thursday 1/11 at 6:30PM. There, the Incubator Director will review the structure and history of the Incubator and answer questions. RSVP here.


The purpose of the NYU Game Center Incubator is to bridge experimental work with the realities of the marketplace. The Incubator gives promising games time, space, guidance, and resources to maximize their chances of commercial success.Once accepted into the Incubator, participating projects are provided a structure to address the marketing, legal, financial, and other business issues of launching a successful commercial game. The Game Center fosters partnerships with game publishers, technology companies, veteran developers, lawyers, journalists, and other industry experts who guide the Incubator participants towards their launch goal. Through a combination of skill development, events programming, production assistance, and financial support, the goal of the Incubator is to bring to market innovative work that might not otherwise get there.


The Incubator will run from 6/1 – 8/31. Each core team member will be provided a $6,000 stipend to cover their cost of living during the period of incubation. Each game will also receive dedicated mentorship time from the Advisory Board members, Game Center faculty, and other NYC-based game developers. As part of joining the Incubator, core team members must commit themselves to working full-time (~40 hours/week) on the project for the duration of the Incubator at the NYU Game Center. The project may include additional developers in any working arrangement at the discretion of the team.

The Game Center Incubator will take a minority revenue share in each project released from the Incubator. If a project makes more than $10,000 in a calendar year, 10% revenue after the first $10,000 earned that year will be shared with the Incubator. The purpose of the Incubator is not to make money. Its purpose is to support ongoing game development in New York. Money received through the revenue share will fund future teams.


We’re looking for innovative projects that will be finished or are close to finished when the Incubator begins and would benefit from a focused, final push to maximize their opportunity for commercial success. The Incubator is a program about developing a launch strategy, meaning it is not suitable for games that in the pre-production, prototype, proof of concept, or alpha phase. The Incubator is designed to assist polished betas or nearly finished games prepare for launch. Games may be digital or non-digital. To get a sense of the games we’ve worked with, you can see games selected in previous years here: http://gamecenter.nyu.edu/about/incubator/

Non-US Citizens are welcome to apply the the NYU Game Center Incubator. Due to the complexities of traveling and working in another country, the Game Center will reach out to international applicants to understand their circumstances and international applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The ReFIG Incubator Grant:

The ReFIG Incubator Grant will be awarded to one project to participate in the 2018 NYU Game Center Incubator. This grant is intended to support developers from underrepresented communities and make it possible for a wider range of games to achieve a successful release. Unlike the main incubator, games need not be commercial in nature but should still be working towards a significant impact such as advancing discourse on a topic, raising awareness of an issue, or reaching an underserved audience of players. Success for a ReFIG project might be critical acclaim, being played widely by its intended audience, being curated in shows, museums, and festivals, or other similar accomplishments.

As the aim of the grant is to help sustain the careers of underrepresented developers, projects are still expected to participate in the incubator curriculum. This may include traditionally commercial workshops on business or legal issues.

The Incubator aims to assist a wide variety of game styles and game makers. If you are unsure if your game is appropriate for the Incubator, contact Dylan McKenzie, the Incubator Director at dylan.mckenzie@nyu.edu


There are two application rounds. Round 1 applications are due: January 21, 2018. Round 2 applications are due April 11, 2018. Complete this application to apply for Round 1. In this round, one of three outcomes are possible:

Accepted: If your project is accepted at this round, you’re in the 2018 Incubator.  You do not need to apply to Round 2.

Reapply Round 2: Your project is not accepted at this time. We will give you feedback about the changes required to be a stronger candidate for Round 2 applications. Examples of changes may include: finding additional collaborators, revising the market strategy, or simply more development time. The majority of Round 1 applications will be in this category.

Rejected: Your project is not a fit for this year’s program. In this case, the Incubator Advisory Board does not believe your project will be ready for the June 1st start date or your project isn’t right for this program.

You do not need to apply to Round 1 to be considered in Round 2. If you are unsure about whether your project is right fit for the Incubator – or perhaps whether it is ready to submit – we highly encourage you to apply in Round 1. Promising applicants in the early round will get feedback about how to improve their projects for a Round 2 application.

Applications will be evaluated along three vectors: Production feasibility, innovation, and commercial potential.

Production Feasibility: Can these developers bring the game from its current place to its commercial potential?

Innovation: The Incubator is most interested in games that aren’t obviously commercially viable from the onset. Is this the kind of interesting/experimental/innovative game that could benefit from the Incubator?

Commercial Potential (Main Incubator): Does this game have the possibility to meet or exceed development costs?

Commercial Potential or Potential Impact (ReFIG Grant Only):
Through commercial success or otherwise, does this game have the potential to reach its intended audience and significantly advance the conversation around games?


1/21 – Round 1 Applications Due
Early February – Round 1 Decisions Sent
3/5 – Round 2 Applications Open
4/11 – Round 2 Applications Due
Late April – Round 2 Decisions Sent
6/1 to 8/31 – 2018 Incubator Program

Questions? Write the Incubator Director at dylan.mckenzie@nyu.edu