Few industries are as diverse in its elements that’s required to deliver a great product as the gaming industry. Besides obvious high tech engineering, it also need to engage an audience through the means of great storytelling and design. This makes the contemporary world of game development a highly novel one and one that really profiles a contemporary approach to digital product development. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that it thrives in a place where the geographical and demographical characteristics conforms the one of the industry. Let’s have a look at the current status of games in Malmö and what it is at present day that can tell us something about the future.
Global and local
The gaming industry has made and keep making significant downfalls in southern Sweden, especially Malmö. These spans from small indie companies to prominent global actors such as Massive Entertainment and King, and the establishment of the city as a thriving gaming hub doesn’t seem to slow down anytime soon. Massive Entertainment, owned by Ubisoft and responsible for global triumphs such as Far Cry and Assassins Creed, literally bought a whole block to keep up with their growing business. The fact that a company of this magnitude decides to settle down in Malmö for many years to come says a lot about what position the city holds in future projections.
But it’s probably the cluster of start-ups and smaller agencies that really makes us eligible to praise the current state and future of the region. Tarsier, another Malmö based company, won this year Indie Award at Gamescom with its game Little Nightmares, a big deal, considering that Gamescom is the single largest gaming event in the world. Tarsier was however published by the company Bandai Namco who by now obtains all the publishing rights and duties to the game.
The formula behind the success of Little Nightmares is something many considers to be vital if the young industry wants to advance in its progress. Because in order to really make an impact on the market, developers need to start thinking more in terms of business and marketing if they are to have a good shot at getting their product into the spotlight. This is something that passionate game developers traditionally, and still one can argue, lack. But recently, certain initiatives have been set in motion to try and get the best out of the inherent competence and ambition within the city limits.
Passion to business
A fine case of the previous mentioned is Gaming Day Malmö which took place at Media Evolution City during the end of August. Experts in the industry as well as independent developers spent the day talking about why and how to approach the increasingly lucrative industry. The objective of the day was to provide entrances into new partnership that would contain not just mere engineering skills, but also other competences that provide a crucial edge in an industry with fierce global competition. Game Start Up Academy is another example. In a series of workshops did those who are serious about starting their own company explore areas outside the actual engineering process, like management, communication and how to receive founding. There’s also the nonprofit organization Game City which aims to unify the region by facilitating for collaborations between academia, developers, investors and other interests in a long term perspective. Regardless of appearance or size, these three initiatives work out of the same premise and know that the region have the potential to become Europe’s most prominent region for game development.
Things are moving at different scales, Massive Entertainment consolidates its ties to the city with the upcoming move and a growing interest in turning a passion into more complete business projects is starting to emerge. And even though these two different layers of the progress can present themselves as two independent worlds, they nevertheless carry the same perception of their geographical location and the benefits that comes along with it. There are several reasons for why the industry thrives and grows in a place like Malmö.
One, like hinted in the beginning of this article, is that the modern digital industries understands the importance of permeate all aspects of a business with multiple perspectives. The region reflects this, with multicultural demographics and convenient connections to contexts other than the national. What’s more is the opportunities to education in the field provided by a number of institutions, which have contributed to dense interest and knowledge. In the shadows of the increase in possibilities to education lurks Malmö’s transformation into a city highly profiled by the digital and creative industries.
A market which calls for new constellations and with technology at its core, two components that’s a big part of what we do here at Media Evolution. We’re going to participate in this exciting development by dedicating the whole month of November to games and interaction. Check in on our website throughout the month to find about the activities that’s taking place.