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Cutting-edge Swedish game developers are coming to London

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Digital games

Video game development has fast become a booming business in Sweden. The country’s official trade association for the industry says the number of Swedish video game companies has risen by more than 50% over the last five years. South Sweden has emerged as a geographic area that’s particularly robust in game development.

Companies based in Skåne, the country’s southernmost region, are currently developing games for major international media franchises like Star Wars and James Bond. The region’s largest city, Malmö, is home to offices for seven of the ten largest game development companies in Sweden. 

It is, therefore, no surprise that an upcoming delegation of Swedish game developers heading for London will include representatives of several companies from south Sweden. The group will be in town for the London Games Festival and Swedish-British Games Connect 2023, a unique event coinciding with the festival designed to help create business opportunities and cooperation between video game companies in Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

Anna Bostam, CEO & co-founder, UndoneGames

“This is the perfect opportunity for us,” says Anna Bostam, CEO of Undone Games, which is based in Malmö and is one of the companies travelling to London. “We can’t wait to go, talk about our game, meet other people within the industry, and connect with publishers and investors.”  

Connecting with the British video games industry 

Swedish-British Games Connect 2023 is co-organised by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK and Invest in Skåne, the official investment promotion agency for the Skåne region. It will be hosted at the chamber’s London location on the evening of March 30th, and along with the Swedish delegation, many stakeholders from the UK video game industry – such as publishers, investors, and game developers – will also be there.  

The day before, March 29th, is the official start of this year’s London Games Festival – billed as “the world's biggest celebration of video games and interactive entertainment” – which the Swedish delegation will be attending as well. 

Robert Bäckström, Founder, Aurora Punks

“We like the setup of events such as the London Games Festival, where both businesses and players interact. The main reason for us to attend is to introduce our games to potential UK game business development partners,” says Robert Bäckström, founder of Aurora Punks, a collective of Swedish independent game studios.

Along with Aurora Punks and Undone Games, the delegation also includes Omniscapes Interactive, Frostglade, and Apog Labs.

Officially selected by the London Games Festival 

For Undone Games, the trip will be especially pivotal. The company’s first release, LetterMe, was launched this week and has been chosen for the “international innovators” category of the London Games Festival’s Official Selection programme, which showcases just over 30 specific games throughout the week-and-a-half-long event. A player-versus-player mobile word game, LetterMe pits two users against one another in a challenge to create words in a 5x5 grid with letters they each take turns choosing. The game has been released in both Swedish and English (with the UK as one of its first markets).  

“We just wanted to create this game because it’s fun,” explains Bostam. “And it has been a crazy, super-fun, and very busy time.”  

Formed in June 2022, Undone Games is unique in that its founders (which includes Bostam) had no prior experience in game development. Veterans of the branding and communication industry, they were driven by what Bostam describes as a shared love of word games and the discovery that women, age 40+, are largely responsible for growth in mobile gaming but seem to be the demographic that developers give the least amount of focus.  

Malmö's friendly games community sparks further growth

Bostam and her co-founders were already based in Malmö, so it was quite easy to find members of the game development sector with whom they could discuss their idea and explore how to produce it.    

“I’m so impressed by the community in Malmö,” says Bostam. “Everyone has been so helpful and encouraging. They really took the time to sit down and talk with me for hours about an idea or ways of testing it.”  

According to Olof Kindblad, Game Developer and Studio Manager at Apog Labs, which along with being a fellow company in the delegation, is also based in Malmö, it’s a common experience of those in the city’s game development scene.

Olof Kindblad, Game developer & Studio Manager, Apog Labs

“Here, you won’t find competition but collaboration, not adversaries but advice and most likely friends and relationships that extend well beyond your regular work hours,” says Kindblad. 

It was the Malmö game development community that eventually lead Undone Games to the extraordinary opportunity to be part of the delegation to London. As Bostam explains, building international connections with publishers, investors, and other developers is essential for the success of a video game company, especially if it wants to release updates for its games or create new ones.  

“We want to keep developing,” she says. “We have a long backlog of cool stuff we want to do.” 

Interested in joining southern Sweden’s vibrant video game industry?  

Visit the Skåne booth at W.A.S.D Careers, part of the London Games Festival’s W.A.S.D. expo! You can talk to representatives of the game development communities of Skåne and Värmland, including those from non-profit groups supporting regional industry development like Game Habitat and The Great Journey