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Celebrating 10 years of Cooking Fever and Nordcurrent’s sustained success 

Viktorija Trofimova, the company’s co-founder and CEO talks expansion, attracting talent and how to keep a game hot for a decade 
Celebrating 10 years of Cooking Fever and Nordcurrent’s sustained success 
  • Nordcurrent estimate that every second U.S. citizen has played Cooking Fever during its past decade
  • The game’s anniversary comes hot on the heels of Nordcurrent’s ongoing expansion

Cooking Fever turns 10 this September, and with over 450 million downloads globally its creators, Nordcurrent, are taking the opportunity to celebrate their success and undertake a few eye-catching promotional campaigns around the game.

Nordcurrent estimate that every second U.S. citizen has played the game during its past decade so rather than flip virtual burgers the company are organising a real-life reenactment of Cooking Fever, with experienced chefs in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius attempting to break the Guinness World Record for assembling the most burgers in one minute.

The current record stands at eight burgers in a minute - surely a number that Nordcurrent’s crack team of Cooking Fever-trained chefs will be able to beat… Video and pics coming soon…

Sustained growth in tough times

Cooking Fever’s anniversary comes hot on the heels of Nordcurrent’s ongoing expansion. The company now employs over 330 employees in Vilnius and Ukraine.

One of the main challenges facing Nordcurrent - and European developers at large - in the last two years has been finding the right talent (both in terms of skills and volume) in order to propel further expansion. A study commissioned by DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology reveals that 76% of video game companies in the European Union reported difficulties in finding skilled technical staff - a rate twice as high as that of other EU businesses recruiting ICT specialists. 

However, the number of game development companies in Lithuania has only continued to grow, increasing by 11% at the beginning of 2024 compared to the previous year, with game devs there now employing over 2,500 staff. 

Nordcurrent itself has managed to increase its staff by 15% in 2023 and continues to expand in 2024, not least through the development of nine new games. Their latest project, Eriksholm: The Stolen Dream, will be released in 2025 and will become the first AA class game published by Nordcurrent. The company also recently acquired the Swedish studio River End Games from Embracer Group. 

“When we polled our employees about why they chose to work at Nordcurrent, the majority highlighted the joy of building games.”
Viktorija Trofimova

Attracting talent

Viktorija Trofimova, co-founder of Nordcurrent explained her reasons why Nordcurrent is such a hotbed of talent. “Gaming specialists want a job that goes beyond merely applying technical skills; it's about self-actualization and creating games that they personally enjoy. This is what makes their work meaningful.

“When we polled our employees about why they chose to work at Nordcurrent, the majority highlighted the joy of building games. There’s an intrinsic motivation in that. We collaborate with Junior Achievement, an NGO that provides free educational programs developed by industry experts. We also host student groups at our Vilnius office monthly.”

Speaking to PocketGamer.biz Simonas Sturys, Nordcurrent’s head of marketing went deeper into their employment drive. “We take employer relations as a long-term strategy. Most teenagers play video games and thousands try to build games themselves. But not many teachers and parents admire such passions in their children. Therefore, we partner a lot with schools and universities to raise the awareness and trust in game development as a safe and meaningful profession.

“Teenagers who are 12 now, might be our employees in six years - that’s not too long of a wait, taking into account, Nordcurrent is already 22 years old in Lithuania. 

“Another important part of the strategy is a strong presence in the gaming community, which is very friendly and vivid in Vilnius. We sponsor events, organize our own, and support numerous initiatives. And we cooperate with organizations like Go Vilnius, the official tourism and business development agency of the City of Vilnius, make collaborations with real life brands like cafeteria chain Vero Café or Vilnius public transport to reach wider audiences." 

“We always manage to create unique and exciting experiences, with new mechanics, new cuisines and new atmospheres.”
Tomas Šiukščius

Keeping things cookin’

On the subject of what has kept Cooking Fever ‘hot’ for ten years, Tomas Šiukščius, the game’s producer shared his insight. “The major key to success is continuous development and constant updates - every new restaurant launch (currently we have 42 of them) brings our loyal players back, as we always manage to create unique and exciting experiences, with new mechanics, new cuisines and new atmospheres.”

“Being local to our players also plays an important role - that's why we support 14 different languages! This really helped us attract more players of different nationalities and languages. And of course, we follow global gaming trends and introduce them into our new features. For example, the game’s "casino". Players really wanted more ways to earn gems - we just couldn't say no and offered them a way to earn gems easily.

“Map expansion also really helped to tie the world of Cooking Fever together into one entity. And finally, our Garden and Booster updates. Boosters help the players tremendously on those pesky levels if they get stuck. And the Garden gives players something to do while not playing the game actively - and they are another source of free gems and boosters.”

And does Šiukščius have any advice for other developers seeking to emulate Cooking Fever’s decade of success? “The gaming industry is very volatile and very quick to change. Trends come and go, the market grows and evolves daily,” he explained.

“This means that your game must also follow these trends to grow and evolve. Don't be afraid to experiment and don't be afraid to try new things, innovations bring change, so be the first to apply those changes to your own game!”