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Our friends in the Nordics: Sweden posts record growth, Playground announces finalists and UXvibe ties up key deals

Our friends in the Nordics: Sweden posts record growth, Playground announces finalists and UXvibe ties up key deals
In our efforts to give you the best view of the world's mobile gaming hotspots, we've decided to dedicate a regular slot to the comings and goings in the ever vibrant Nordic region.

(To those of you who skipped geography, that's essentially Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.)

In the months ahead, expect to see the biggest developments from the Nordic region details across these pages – news that, with studios across the region enjoying international success, will no doubt define the mobile industry as we move forward.

News just like this, in fact...

Swede dreams

The Swedish Games Industry has today unveiled its annual Game Developer Index report for 2012.

As expected the report shows substantial growth across the board with the industry registering a 60 percent increase in turnover to 3.7 billion Swedish kronor.

This is in large part to Mojang, which accounted for 40 percent of the industry turnover at 1.5 billion Swedish kronor.

Speaking at an event to present the award in Stockholm, Swedish Games Industry spokesperson Per Strömbäck said that 2012 was "once again another record year for Swedish game developers."

He continued, "By all accounts, 2013 promises to be even better. In recent years, the enormous successes have made compiling the report an extremely tricky situation. It is of course a pleasant situation to be in and the result of the hard work and collective efforts of every one."

Highlights of the report include a sizeable increase in the number of employees from 2010 by 215 percent to 1967 employees, whilst the percentage of women represented in the industry experienced an increase of 39 percent.

The top five performing studios in terms of turnover in 2012 were:

  • Mojang

  • DICE

  • Stardoll

  • King

  • Paradox


The full report - in PDF form and in Swedish - can be viewed here.

Playschool is over

Finnish firm Playground Publishing – or PLGND to its friends - has announced finalists for its developer challenge, the imaginatively titled Playground Challenge.

Making the line-up for the final – held at the Northern Game Summit in Kajaani in Finland on 4 October 2013 – is Brawl Bolts from Fat Lemon Entertainment, Woodchopper from Headnought, Duckventures by Innogiant, Swing Game from Kotka Games, Spymaster by Playraven and Parcel by Polar Bunny.

"We are really looking at the big picture," said Playground's GM Markus Råmark on the process behind the challenge.

"Team, gameplay, business potential, overall quality, game idea and of course the fun factor are all taken into account. Games are entertainment and they need to be fun."

The incentives for those who make it past the selection are huge so competition is understandably fierce.

"Winner will get minimum €50,000 for development&marketing and $10,000 worth of installs from Playhaven," he added.

"We will also provide the winner with production support, QA, localisation, marketing, user acquisition and PR," Rånark added.

"We might also sign other games from finalists as well. If this happens, these deals are always negotiated case by case. We are putting a lot of effort on each game we sign, so the package will be good.

"All the companies who submitted their game to Playground Challenge, will receive personal feedback from us of their game idea. It is important for us and hopefully helps them to develop the game further."

More details can found on the publisher's website.

East meets west

Stockholm based publisher UXvibe has ramped up its recruitment drive and penned deals with Chinese developer PFU and LA based Press Start Studios.

The deal with PFU will facilitate a move to the Far East for a host of western games on UXvibe's portfolio.

"So far as I know there currently doesn’t exist a similar deal in Sweden or the Nordic region," said UXvibe co-founder Jihua Liu.

"There might be some games that have found Chinese publishers by themselves but not a service company in a partnership way offering a full range of localisation services the way we do. The short term goal is to bring great western games to China. T

"The long term goals is over time to also bring great Chinese games to the western market."

Luis Parra from Press Start Studios added, "Multiplayer is the ultimate social interaction and a big part of the future of video games, at the same time is not easy or cheap to master it, based on that UXvibe's product and deal fits perfect with Press Start's plan for the future."

Saxophone playing Vic Bassey is an experienced writer. He currently oversees industry communications for the Swedish Games Industry, as well as being the go to copy content guy at Stardoll. Vic has previously covered the games industry in Sweden as a contributor for Game Reactor, as well as video reviews for Press 2 Play.

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jon jordan
Wonder how those Swedish figures will be different in 2013? I suspect King to be somewhat higher.
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