Comment & Opinion

Nordisk Games’ partner and director of operations Markus Windelen on the key advantages of fundraising

“We challenge and support the game studio management to trigger improvements across multiple disciplines.”

Nordisk Games’ partner and director of operations Markus Windelen on the key advantages of fundraising

Markus Windelen is the partner and director of operations at Nordisk Games, which is part of leading Nordic media company Egmont, with investments focused primarily on indie PC/console development studios.

Windelen joins us for Investor Connector at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, a fringe event which pairs pre-selected developers who are seeking funding with investors.

Before the event takes place next month, we caught up with Windelen for his thoughts on investment and how the current pandemic has affected getting funding. Tell us a bit about your company and its primary Investment focus?

Markus Windelen: Egmont has about 6,500 employees and €2 billion revenue in 2020. Our investments at Nordisk Games are focused primarily on independent PC/console development studios who have proven their creative approach and production pipeline and who are looking for a long-term partner for growth.

So far we partnered with studios like Avalanche, Star Stable, MercurySteam, Raw Fury, Reto Moto, Flashbulb and Nitro Games.

We are looking to grow our network.

What kind of companies/projects are you interested in?

We fund and empower substantial game companies to create and publish lasting game franchises with global appeal. We make substantial minority investments between €5-100M, often being the only investor.

What are the key advantages for founders when they raise investment from your company?

We consider ourselves not merely an investor but rather a partner. We challenge and support the game studio management to trigger improvements across multiple disciplines. We offer a broad spectrum of collaboration ranging from active board work, business development, leadership development or access to our Game User & Market Research Lab.

Do applicants need a pitch deck and if so, what information should a founder be sure to include to interest you enough to want to know more and have a meeting?

I don’t expect a flashy presentation. My main objective is to get a first impression of the studio and its management, understand the focus of their development initiative and their ambition.

What do you expect to learn from a founder at the first meeting?

Where are they in their journey as a game development studio? Where do they come from, where are they headed? What are the main challenges they are facing?

Could you give any advice for developers or teams for pitching over video calls?

We are all sitting in the same boat. Be as natural and authentic as the medium allows.

How has the investment cycle changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic? Typically, how long is it taking to close deals?

Not being able to meet people in person, visiting game studios and feeling or 'sniffing' the atmosphere in a development team is certainly a challenge. But that’s part of the new reality and will stay part of it for some time to come. So, we adapt of course!

Overall, we don’t see a slowdown in our investment activities. For instance, we closed an investment with Madrid-based MercurySteam just a month ago. And we are full steam ahead in the due diligence process with another prospective partner. Hopefully we can announce more on this one shortly.

So, yes, it has become more challenging to conduct our business, but we adapt and overcome these challenges.

What trends do you see emerging in games over the pandemic that are likely to persist post-pandemic? Conversely, what trends do you think are short term?

Flexible and remote work environment is here to stay. Embrace it and make it part of your working culture. Maybe not 100% remote, but some type of hybrid remote/office work is the way to set up your business going forward.

Want to meet Markus Windelen at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5?

You could meet Windelen and many more investors online next month by signing up for Investor Connector at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. So if you’re seeking funding, sign up here.

Please note you can only sign up for the Investor Connector if you’re a registered attendee of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. Book your tickets now and you could save more than $210 with our Mid-Term offer.

We’re also allocating a limited amount of free passes solely for small indie developers, enabling them to meet investors and publishers, and learn from the industry’s biggest names. If you think you qualify, sign up here.