Short, sweet and unexpected: How Qaos Games hopes to shake up the App Store

Doing things differently

Short, sweet and unexpected: How Qaos Games hopes to shake up the App Store

Pocket Gamer Connects events always attract a wide variety of interesting people, from young developers to experienced sales people, and everything in between.

One of the more interesting of these people was Sebastian Lindén, CEO and creative director of New York and Stockholm-based Qaos Games, a developer which is looking to work as an incubator for other developers on short, ridiculous games.

We had a chat with Lindén about Qaos Games, what it's looking to do, and his views on the mobile industry as a whole. What is your background in gaming?

Lindén: I have been in gaming for the past three years. In 2012, I was struck by how a minority of games like Candy Crush Saga and Ruzzle got 7 million active users in just a couple of months.

I have always been caught up in the psychology behind games, why people prefer some games over others. I see gaming as a framework to work with, and understand, behaviour.

Why did you decide to start Qaos Games?

We started Qaos Games as we thought that the King/Zynga model of game development is broken. Developers don't have enough incentive to come up with new hit games for large companies.

We wanted to find a new way to nurture talent and work on a transparent basis with the best game developers.

What is the main goal of Qaos Games?

For us, it's all about attracting the right people. We’re always looking for people with high ambition that want to do things differently.

Our niche is to make casual mobile games with an intention to go viral. Sometimes provocative, sometimes meaningless, and sometimes just different from the usual.

What projects are you currently working on?

We're working on a couple of games at the moment. One is probably the most meaningless game in the world, another one involves a gun, and one is about a world of advertisement.

Our niche is to make casual mobile games with an intention to go viral.
Sebastian Lindén

We believe in an environment where we test early and start building minimum viable product games to see if the core gameplay is addictive. We come up with many games, and kill a bunch of them.

Instead of building games for years (or going into VR), we believe in maximizing the potential of small teams with lots of passion in mobile games.

What do you think are the biggest challenges in the mobile market at the moment?

I think it's about sticking out from the crowd. People tend to forget that the average lifetime of a mobile game is 2 days. Surviving those two days is the biggest challenge for a majority of developers.

It's all about figuring out how you will be different from everyone else. Smaller studios will have to put focus on their identity/brand.

What market trends do you think we'll see in 2016?

We will see an increase in games released, and developers will have to niche themselves as much as possible to survive. I also think we are underestimating the power of games for tvOS and working across multiple devices.

We will see new types of partnerships evolve and new creative marketing channels, such as the previous year’s trend of working with YouTube/Twitch influencers for UA.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.