This article posits the relevance of the gaming industry. First up, we investigate the growth of the Swedish gaming industry. More importantly, we analyse how Sweden helped to catalyse the world’s growth too.
Brief: Swedish Gaming Industry
The Swedish gaming industry has a history dating back to the 1980s. From there, one of the most impactful growth was between 1998 and 2001. According to Ulf Sandqvist, PhD student at Umeå University, this was termed to be the renaissance period, with the “number of firms within the industry experiencing a 100% jump.” Indeed, it was during this time when venture capitalists started to have a keen interest in developing such technologies. Sandqvist also had an example, Slottbacken Venture Capital, who invested in Unique Development Studios (UDS).
However, the future of this niche market remains fogged back then. This is because overall collective results were unstable. A huge reason is that predicting the popularity of a game prior to its release is incredibly challenging. There were not enough historical data and expertise in this new age of digitalism to help companies better forecast their financials and resources. Thus, some hesitancy crippled the development of certain games.
Slow but Steady
Nevertheless, there were still companies reaping huge profits. For example, Massive with over 10 million kronor earned and Dice between 30 to 50 million kronor in profit. Slowly but steadily, more and more bestsellers and international hits are produced in Sweden. With such consistency in game quality, this catalysed the growth of the industry on the whole.
This growth spurt also unlocked several game synergies, such as the symbiosis between education and gaming. There was an increase of incubators and programmes launched as catalysts to this growth, i.e. Gothia Science Park, Teknikdalen Foundation (now Dalarna Science Park) and the Nordic Game Program.
Another critical element to the growth of the Swedish gaming industry was the support it has garnered from its back-end. Unsurprisingly, the latter also proved itself to be internationally renowned. Whether they are game engines, so-called middleware, music or graphics technologies, they all play a part in maintaining the high standards of Swedish gaming industry. For instance, EA DICE developed their own game engine, Frostbite, which provided the foundation of their knowledge base.
There are also many other companies who offer software and components to improve the development process. Donya Labs, for instance, work with graphics optimization. Another familiar name is Illuminate Labs from Gothenburg, that had been acquired by Autodesk for its amazing lighting technology.
In a Nutshell: Swedish Gaming Industry
Looking back, it was the combination of all the different aspects- timing, market volatility, financial backups, and backend support that had helped boost the Swedish gaming industry. This, in turn, propelled the steady growth in the worldwide gaming industry overall.
Moving on, we spot a new player lurking in the corner. As the traditional development and consumption of PC games make room for mobile and online game development, another episode unfolds. How will the Swedish gaming industry evolve with the addition of this new scene? Stay tuned to our next article to read more!
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