Thursday, November 10, 2016
Malmö's Hot Startup Scene Is Consistently Producing Many Of The World's Best-Selling Games
Via Business Insider: It’s no secret that Sweden and Finland are the powerhouses of the global game development industry. For Sweden, Malmö is where it happens. With a population of only 320.000 Malmö is home to some 40 game companies – 4.8 more per capita compared to, for example, London. Ubisoft and King are two big names in Malmö, yet the bulk consists of smaller studios. But being small doesn’t prevent them from consistently delivering best-sellers. “When you think of the game scene in Sweden you’ll probably think of King or Mojang, but that’s only part of the story. We have game companies in Malmö consisting of only one or two people that deliver exceptionally high quality games,” says Mårten Öbrink, CEO of the startup incubator Minc, which recently set up an initiative called Game Startup Academy to boost the potential of Malmö’s game developers even further. “It’s part of the startup culture here that people want to help each other out, so we’ve managed to get some pretty big names to the Game Startup Academy with almost no budget. As a start-up scene, that’s wholly unique to Malmö”, Öbrink says. Just last week the Malmö-based game studio Mediocre released PinOut! Which became an instant success. It’s already been downloaded 7.5 million times, been the most downloaded game in 65 countries, and the most downloaded app in 30 countries. The same studio is also behind Smash Hit – a game that’s been true to its name with 120 million downloads, according to DI Digital. There are plenty of more examples. Simogo and Illusion Labs have made their mark with successes like Sailor’s Dream and Touch Grind Skate, respectively. The Division was the world’s bestselling game 2015. The studio behind it, Massive, made £270 million in the game’s first week after launch and just bought an entire block in Malmö, Sydsvenskan reports. Something to look forward to is Little Nightmares, by Tarsier Studios – the game’s trailer was recently shared 135,000 times on Facebook. Malmö’s startup environment isn’t only unique for the game development scene. Outside of the Nordic capital cities, Malmö received more venture capital this year than any other Nordic city, writes The Nordic Web. Perhaps that’s not so surprising considering Malmö’s connection to greater Copenhagen to form the bi-national metropolitan area of the Øresund region, with a quickly growing startup ecosystem. Malmö thereby offers an international context, while being a considerably cheaper place to run a business compared to many other startup hubs – the Nordic capitals aren’t exactly known for being cheap. “It’s fairly easy setting up your own venture in Malmö, and cheap too,” Mårten Öbrink explains, “Running your own business is 19% cheaper in Malmö than it is in Berlin for instance”.