Since being founded in 2015, Snowprint Studios has successfully built itself on turn-based tactics games. The studio's most recent release, Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus, which came out in 2022, won our Pocket Gamer Award for mobile game of the year and has proved a hit with the Warhammer community.
And it seems that this success hasn’t gone unnoticed, as Modern Times Group recently acquired a majority stake in Snowprint with ambitions to boost the growth of both Tacticus and Snowprint.
We caught up with Snowprint Studio’s CEO, Alexander Ekvall, to discuss their journey so far and what it's like working with such a beloved IP. We also discuss MTG’s acquisition and what this means for the studio's future.
Pocketgamer.biz: How are things with Snowprint right now? We're seeing a lot of studios having layoffs, but it seems you’ve managed achieve success without over reaching yourself?
Alexander Ekvall: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s something that we set out to do from the beginning. We started with a highly experienced team, grew very slowly, were able to keep an extremely strong culture within the company, and more recently, we have been able to bring on younger talent. And we’ve been able to do that with tremendous results.
How is Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus performing?
Things are going really well with Tacticus. We’ve seen a tremendous launch that we are very proud of, and everything is pointing in the right direction. We've had good growth and continue to have an optimistic outlook.
We believe in synergies here that can help accelerate the growth of Tacticus and also be a springboard for us now that we are moving into this position as a leader within turn-based battle. That’s all part of the eight-year-long journey that’s taken us to the release of Tacticus and this level of commercial success.
What is it like working with Games Workshop on Warhammer? There’s so much background, history and lore that you have to incorporate into the game.
Guidance from the Games Workshop team has been super valuable in making sure that everything hits the right tone and we get all the details right.Alexander Ekvall
Exactly. This is one of the reasons we were so keen on collaborating and working with Games Workshop. As you say, there’s so much lore out there. It’s probably the biggest IP in the world when it comes from a lore perspective and creating a universe.
I think there are a lot of people who are very serious fans, but there are also so many people out there that we call ‘Warhammer curious’ who have heard of it but don’t really know how to get into the hobby and the IP. So we think delivering premium experiences here on mobile featuring a polished experience with snappy, quick to pick-up core gameplay is a great way to get more people to familiarise themselves with the IP.
Is it difficult working with such an established IP? How do things such as the approval processes work?
I think it’s been a bit daunting to take on since it’s such a beloved IP. Everything is so well done. It’s a high bar to live up to, so we saw it as a tremendous responsibility and honour. As for the approval process, it has been a great exchange where we came up with ideas and we developed our own art style within this IP, and guidance from the Games Workshop team has been super valuable in making sure that everything hits the right tone and we get all the details right.
MTG recently acquired Snowprint. Is this a full acquisition, or are they investing? What is the shape of the new arrangement, and how does the team feel about it?
It’s great news. I think we were in the privileged position not to be pressured into anything. They are acquiring 70% of Snowprint with a path to 100% ownership over the coming years.
Again, we were in no rush, so it's been a thorough process from our side. Very early in the process, it was clear that we have a very good cultural map and clicked with how they were speaking about building the MTG village and allowing game makers and developers to continue to do what they think is best for their company and games.
This collaboration and partnership with MTG will accelerate those efforts and bring so much more to the table. So that’s where we see a big part of the strength and advantage that MTG can offer.
We don’t want to be a one-game studio. You shouldn’t be surprised in the future if you see more titles coming from us.Alexander Ekvall
And your focus and MTG’s immediate focus is further developing Tacticus?
Yes, that’s the focus right now. Although this isn’t the end game for Snowprint as a company, we don’t want to be a one-game studio. You shouldn’t be surprised in the future if you see more titles coming from us.
But we know how rare it is to launch a title in this environment where it’s super competitive, and there are big hitters out there. We’re up against heavy competitors, but we’re able to come out strong with a game that's growing, so we need to make sure that it gets the resources, focus and love that it needs to make sure that it continues to blossom over time.
What plans are ahead for Snowprint Studios?
I think one of the core pillars for Snowprint, and why I believe that communities have liked our games, is that we want to be close to them and understand what we should be doing next. So we are definitely expanding the characters and factions for Tacticus. Our partnership with MTG will help us accelerate these developments too.
There’s an exciting group portfolio of companies in the MTG village, so we look forward to the synergies we can get there, sharing knowledge and approaches with each other. We feel we can bring something valuable to this group of companies, share our good experiences, and build from there.