We’ve looked at a number of aspects over the past week pertaining to the Swedish innovation and the rise of the respective industries due to their tremendous influence, we looked at everything from unique designs to concepts that you probably didn’t even know originated in Sweden, so it would be nothing short of foolish to overlook an industry that has been booming in Sweden and has been dramatically changed by the positive influence of Swedish innovation. That industry is the games industry and it’s been improving at an alarming rate, showing no signs of stopping any time soon. Just to get your mind kickstarted into gear before we begin, think Dice with the heart pumping action-centric Battlefield series and Mojang with the hugely successful and addictive Minecraft, there you go, just two of many game industry influencing developers and there’s more! But it’s not just the people who make the games that has put Sweden on the map for gaming, but those who play the games, one person in particular is the most if not one of the most popular people on Youtube, yup, Pewdiepie!
Check out also: Swedish Week – The Best Of Swedish Innovation
Gaming in Sweden is a large and well established market, it is not to be taken lightly and sits right up there with the best developers in the world. Just last year, Sweden ranked sixth in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index and fourth only a year prior, you can read up on this here, but it just goes to show how lucrative the Swedish gaming industry is. Just to cement that, here are a few interesting facts about the Swedish games industry over the course of 2014.
- Revenues of Swedish game developers increased by 76 percent to EUR 752 million in 2013.
- The majority of the companies are profitable and the industry has reported a total profit for five years running.
- Employment increased by 29 per cent, or 567 full time positions, to a total of 2,534 employees.
- The proportion of women increased by 38 percent, compared with 27 percent for men.
- The average annual growth rate (CAGR) 2006-2013 is 39 percent.
- 30 new companies have been added, which, after deducting the companies that have dissolved, amounts to 170 active companies – an increase of 17 percent.
- Game development is a growth industry; more than half of the companies were registered after 2010. The games are often launched directly in an international marketplace, which also results in a global labor market. The largest companies are multicultural and it is not unusual for them to have employees of over 30 different nationalities.
- Swedish game developers are characterized by diversity and quality. Sweden has world-leading developers within AAA, digital distribution, social games, mobile games and specialized subcontractors.
You can read up some more about this and more over here, but it is pretty interesting, especially when you consider where they came from a few years before that. Last year we saw Mojang, creators of the goldmine that is Minecraft, sold off to Microsoft for 2.5billion dollars, that very same money is being poured right back into the Swedish gaming industry and other respective Swedish markets through those original developers, which is a success the entire country can be proud of.
King, creators of the game that has single-handedly caused fights because of distracted people bumping into each other and spamming their facebook friends, Candy Crush, saw an explosion of sales for the one game, which propelled them into stardom.
Dice, developers of the profound and action orientated series, Battlefield are hard at work on their next innovative iteration, Battlefield Hardline, which pits you against the police as a criminal or against the criminals as the police, a first for the series which usually focuses on massive scale war related battles with all manner of vehicles, from tanks to fighter planes, but speaking of taking on the police, they were inspired by another Swedish company, Overkill Software, who happened to have created the addictive and game changing Payday: The Heist, where you play as bank robbers and are tasked with infiltrating the banks, getting to the stash and getting out as quickly, efficiently and hopefully quietly as possible.
Avalanche studios created the Just Cause series, a tremendously fun open world game with lots to do, Just Cause 2 was the largest and most beautiful open world game in existence when it first released, with a day and night rotation, plentiful vehicles to drive and truly satisfying destruction at every turn. There was so much to keep you occupied it was months before you completed it 100%. They are currently working on Just Cause 3 and Mad Max the game.
These are just a few of the game developers making a significant change to the gaming industry and you can find more here, as well as what they made and are working on.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though and making games is one thing, what about the people playing them? Swedish gamers are no doubt amongst the most avid gamers in the world, right there along with others in Europe which as a whole accounts for 1/4 of the world’s game sales, besides Japan, America and everywhere else (there are several up and coming countries, such as China and Brazil that may soon overtake the existing lucrative continents / countries) and over those gamers is the most popular gamer on the internet…well according to Youtube subscriptions and video views anyway, Pewdiepie, who was formerly an avid Minecraft player, would you believe. Pewdiepie draws masses to each and every one of his videos and it is unlikely you will see any of this videos get less than 1 million views nowadays.
But Pewdiepie contributes more to the gaming industry than one could imagine, not only does he play games, but he plays games few if anyone has heard of, thus boosting the success of said game with his audience. He is incredibly popular amongst indie (independent) developers with smaller budgets, as he has helped popularise their games and this one is his most successful video thus far:
So, now you know a little about just how great the Swedish gaming industry is, next time you think of great game developers, think Sweden!