2018 Incubator Application

Applications are open to join the 2018 cohort of the NYU Game Center Incubator! 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. This year, thanks to a grant from Refiguring Innovation in Games (ReFIG), we have added more support for developers from underrepresented communities to join the Incubator.

Applications for the 2018 cohort are open until 4/8. The application is available 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.

Watch our 2018 Incubator Info Session here for more information.


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, unless a different arrangement is negotiated between NYU and the team or a prospective publisher. The gross revenue does not include third-party platform fees. 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.

Non-US Citizens are welcome to apply 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 supports one project in the 2018 NYU Game Center Incubator. This grant is intended to promote the work of developers from underrepresented communities and make it possible for a wider range of games to achieve a successful release. ReFIG games that are not conventionally commercial should be working towards a significant impact such as advancing discourse, raising awareness, or reaching an underserved audience. 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


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?


3/5 – Applications Open
4/8 – Applications Due
4/17 – Pitch & Demo Night for Invited Projects
Late April – Final Decisions Sent
6/1 to 8/31 – 2018 Incubator Program

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

Applications for the 2018 cohort are open until 4/8. The application is available here.