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“Setting up our own business had been our aim for a long time.”

The PC game “Train Fever” released by start-up Urban Games has been on sale for around a year. For financing, the founders turned to so-called crowd-funding and all initial loans have now been repaid, earning close to 100% profit for investors.

The concept behind Train Fever is as simple as it is clever. The player operates a transport management company and builds railways. As the transport infrastructure grows, so do population centres, just as in real life. “Approximately 120,000 people around the world are playing Train Fever”, explains Basil Weber who founded the company. He says it as if it’s no big deal. And as you get to know him and his brother Urban you quickly realise that they are quite reserved, preferring to focus on the task rather than on seeking the limelight. Maybe that’s their recipe for success.
 

“Approximately 120,000 people around the world are playing Train Fever”

Basil Weber, Founder of Urban Games GmbH

Crowdfunding repaid and double your money
The brothers have certainly scored a resounding success with Urban Games: around a year after releasing their first PC simulation game “Train Fever” they now employ seven staff. Another sign of their success is that they have been able to repay all the investors who enabled their launch via crowdfunding and have provided an almost 100% return on the initial investment. That’s not business as usual. And we’re talking about a sum of 250000 Euros here. “The money came from around 650 people, mainly in Switzerland, Germany and Holland”, Basil Weber explains.
 

“It’s crucial that we support innovative ideas and retain creative talent in our region”

Marcus Cajacob, the Economic Promotion Team of the Canton of Schaffhausen

The young entrepreneurs also receive support from the canton‘s Economic Promotion Team. Help for young entrepreneurs takes the form of advice sessions and may include targeted financial aid. Funding support is documented in a contract which sets out the obligations for both parties. “It’s crucial that we support innovative ideas and retain creative talent in our region”, Marcus Cajacob from the Economic Promotion Team outlines.

Independence long in the planning
What makes “Train Fever” so successful? “It’s one of only a handful of modern transport simulations. And when compared to others, ours has a significant level of detail”, Basil Weber explains. That’s certainly one reason. Another may well be that setting up the company was years in the planning. “We’d known for years that we wanted to set ourselves up as game developers at some stage, started on the programming of “Train Fever” relatively early and chose our degree options to match our ambitions for the game”, Weber comments. What next? “Train Fever” is being improved all the time. And the next PC game based on the railway is already in planning but the brothers are understandably keen to keep details under wraps at this stage.

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Fact File



Company
Urban Games GmbH
Established: 2013
Headcount: 7
Sector: Gaming industry

www.train-fever.com

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Contact

Christoph Schärrer

Adrian Stettler

Economic Promotion
Canton of Schaffhausen

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