Thanks to the generosity of our GDC 2020 Relief Fund sponsors, the extra funds raised were used to create the ELEVATE Accelerator Program. This program, run by WINGS and Code Coven, began as a 15-week global online incubator for indie game developers impacted by COVID-19 and the resulting cancellations. ELEVATE has since continued with a focus on creating opportunities for women & marginalized gender developers around the world.
ELEVATE offers development guidance, mentorship, community, and milestone-based stipends for struggling indie game developers, providing them with meaningful progression on their game prototype, business fundamentals and valuable industry connections.
Although dedicated to investing in games, with the cancellation of GDC 2020 the WINGS team recognized the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on indie dev budgets. We realized we had to help quickly, and put together a coalition of game publishers and companies to assist indie game developers who had lost their travel costs or were stranded in San Francisco. Over $291,000 was raised and over 177 developers from all over the world were reimbursed. The extra funds were used to establish ELEVATE, an online accelerator program designed to support marginalized indie developers.
Our mission is simple: we find talented, diverse teams and fund their high potential games. The success of diverse teams will lead to more unique ideas coming to life, new voices heard, new games catering to a wider variety of tastes. We passionately believe that better representation leads to better creativity.