From a wild idea to a popular game publisher: The success story of D&R Denkriesen GmbH is truly unique. In Quickborn, the two founders were able to secure enough space – for hundreds of thousands of games and for their future ideas.
If you ask Denis Görz and Ricardo Barreto about their personal favourite games, the two managing directors don’t have to think twice: "Gemeinsame Sache!" they proclaim in unison. This entertaining party game about finding matching terms for different categories is one of around 30 games that the two young entrepreneurs have published with their company Denkriesen since 2012. The name of the game, "Gemeinsame Sache" ("Common Cause"), could also be the slogan of their impressive company history. These best friends knew early on that they wanted to collaborate – but not that they would later own their own game publishing company with yearly revenues of 14 million euros.
"At a campground, we played the drinking game ‘Ring of Fire’ with some friends," recalls Denis Görz. "We thought it would be a lot cooler if the tasks were already written down on cards instead of playing with a normal skat deck." They developed and designed the card game "klattschen" and had an edition of 400 units produced in a small printing house. They sold the first packs through Facebook, then through their own website. Finally they started selling through Amazon – and their sales figures skyrocketed. "At the time, Amazon was not the gigantic platform it is today," recalls Ricardo Barreto. "If you searched for ‘drinking game’, we hardly had any competition."
Driven by their success, they developed other games like their bestseller "Stadt-Land-Vollpfosten" (City-Country-Idiot), which they now market in many editions from "Sport" to "Einstein" all the way to "Red Light." Their concept was well received at the first trade fair in Norderstedt in 2017. A little later they hired their first employee, a graphic designer. Their big breakthrough game came thanks to the help of Denis Görz’s uncle, a retired salesman who established their first contacts in retail shops. Since then, it’s hard to imagine bookshops, chemist’s shops and gift shops without Denkriesen games. After all, their concept is as simple as it is appealing: The idea from a well-known game is "pimped" with original questions and categories, and the rules are immediately clear. The striking design and humorous names like "Dummbatz" (Dumbo), "Jammerlappen" (Whiner) or "Kritzelschlacht" (Scribble Battle) contribute to their success.
With their growing success, the number of packages also skyrocketed. "At first we sold five games per week, now we produce 300,000 units of a game at once," says Denis Görz. Games were initially stored in a 3-bedroom flat with adjacent garage, from which the two founders sent all packages by mail themselves. Then they relocated to an office in Norderstedt. But it quickly became clear that there wasn’t enough space here either. In Quickborn, Denkriesen purchased a 3,000 m² property with multiple warehouses and buildings that were largely still rented out at the time. "At first we just used a 500 m² hall, which seemed enormous to us!" says Barreto. The company now occupies all available storage spaces on the premises, a total of 2,200 m². A new office building is currently under construction, which will provide space for more than 40 employees on 4 floors. "Quite simply, the improvised office spaces in the warehouses no longer suit our size and level of professionalism. In the new building, we can create a large showroom and attractive conference rooms," explains Ricardo Barreto.
The two managing directors couldn’t image a better location than Quickborn. "The commercial area in Quickborn-Heide is very inviting, yet at the same time perfectly connected to the motorway and Hamburg," explains Denis Görz. On a private level, they both like the municipality that almost feels like a village. There is lots of room for families and everything can be reached on foot. "We have several employees who moved here from other cities like Halle (Saale) or Volkmarsen and who really enjoy living here," reports Ricardo Barreto. "The natural setting is beautiful, for example the nearby forest and the Himmelmoor."
So they are both firmly settled in Quickborn. And they still have big plans for their publishing company Denkriesen. They just started with their first licensing business. "We are producing a Woozle Goozle licensed edition of ‘Stadt-Land-Vollpfosten’ for Super RTL." They still generate all the ideas themselves, and the fun factor is tested by the team by playing together every Wednesday afternoon. It looks as though the Denkriesen success story is far from over. Denis Görz and Ricardo Barreto reaffirm this – "Our goal is for everyone in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to have at least one of our games on their shelf!"