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Celebrating 5 years among Malmö’s thriving gaming community

Digital games

Five years ago, Danish game developer IO Interactive (IOI), renowned for titles like HITMAN World of Assassination, made a strategic move to expand their operations in southern Sweden and to be part of the growing game development scene in Malmö. At the time, Invest in Skåne supported them in the establishment process of a new game studio. Fast forward to 2024, as IO Interactive celebrates five fruitful years in Malmö and 25 years in the industry.

We talked to Sandra Smedegaard Mondahl, Studio Manager in Malmö, to uncover the secrets behind IOI’s enduring success and explore the impact of their Malmö establishment on the company's steps forward. 

Five years in Malmö and 25 years in existence. That is a milestone. What's the secret behind your success? 

From what I've seen over the past five years, the IOI-secret sauce boils down to transparency, trust in each other, and striving to fulfil our potential. We're not afraid to speak up with things get hard, nor are we afraid to ask for help or guidance when we're in unchartered waters. That's how we grow, it’s how we develop, and it is most certainly the recipe to create games in an ever-changing environment.

Our priorities enable us to set our team up for success with one unified goal for all our locations – which is to make impactful games! For me, this approach is most certainly what has made the first five years of IOI Malmö feel like an integral and integrated part of the group and collectively have an impact on both Project 007, Project Fantasy, our Glacier engine, and beyond.  

Your establishment in Malmö seems to be a critical step on your path to success. What do you think makes Malmö/Skåne a gamedev hotspot?

The reason to open a studio in Malmö most definitely came from the huge local talent pool that is to be found here. The great other studios, the local schools, and Game Habitat are all catalysts for a great ecosystem. We wanted to get on that train and benefit from it as well, but also contribute to the growth of the Öresund region and the unique games industry community that can be found here across both Denmark and Sweden. 

We're grateful to have assembled a fantastic team of ambitious, passionate, and boundary-pushing individuals who keep on delivering truly inspiring work throughout the development of the projects. At the end of the day, it is the talent, drive, and forward-thinking game developers under the roof of IOI who make it possible for us to deliver the exceptional experiences IOI is known for. Furthermore, seeing our developers across countries join forces in creating these experiences for our players by uniting their experiences and talent is in all honesty humbling.  

Sandra Smedegaard Mondahl, IO Interactive

"The reason to open a studio in Malmö most definitely came from the huge local talent pool that is to be found here. The great other studios, the local schools, and Game Habitat are all catalysts for a great ecosystem. " 

Sandra Smedegaard Mondahl, Studio Manager, IO Interactive in Malmö


What is IO most proud of from these 5 years in Malmö?

From a studio perspective, it's most certainly shipping Hitman III, World of Assassination, and the Freelancer mode. Furthermore, the reveal of us working on Project 007 and Project Fantasy were also huge milestones for us as a studio. Also, seeing where we currently stand, and how much we accomplished over that short period of time.  I am amazed by the whole team at IOI, and how they share their knowledge and are not afraid of being vulnerable about their own, personal experiences within game development.  

Furthermore, being part of the boards for both GEM (Game Empowerment Movement), The Game Assembly, Futuregames, and heading the election committee for Game Habitat’s board gets us involved on an additional level when it comes to developing our united games industry and community in Malmö.  

I'm also very proud of our expansion to our own studio and the team it houses every day. It’s full of personality and great initiatives, which fosters an environment where our developers deliver astonishingly creative output.

What is on the near horizon for IOI? We hear that you are working on something that is probably going to leave us all shaken and stirred...

Indeed, it is a great achievement to be working on such a franchise, with a legacy spanning 60 years! I can't reveal too much for the time being, but we are extremely excited.  

On a studio perspective, I'm looking forward to perfecting what we've created. We obviously have very high ambitions for the future with our two upcoming projects as well as with HITMAN World of Assassination. We have been growing over the past years, welcoming amazing talents to complement our team and moving into new offices to raise even more our potential. We are ultimately one studio across multiple locations, a philosophy I very much believe in as it inspires impact and ambition, no matter where you are.  

Will we see you at the Nordic Game Conference this year? Tell us a little about what you hope to get out of Nordic Games.

Of course! We will be around throughout the event and look forward to meeting old friends and making new connections - don't forget to say happy birthday if you see anyone from IOI! 

More about IO Interactive

IO Interactive was founded 25 years ago with the ambition to create immersive, system-driven worlds filled with beautiful art and innovative design.  Their first major achievement was the development of Hitman: Codename 47 in 2000. This success was followed by the release of three sequels; Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money within a span of just six years. In 2019, the Danish company expanded by opening a new studio in Malmö. This was followed by Barcelona in 2021, and most recently Istanbul and Brighton in 2023. 

Find out more about the studio in Malmö at