Stugan, Sweden’s nonprofit game accelerator, has lined up its first set of teachers and mentors to train developers how to make games.
The Stockholm, Sweden-based group, which is named after the Swedish word for cottage, will take as many as 20 aspiring game developers and train them over eight weeks in the summer at an actual stugan in the town of Falun, just north of Stockholm.
The group’s mentors include”
• Jens Bergensten, lead developer of Minecraft at Mojang.
• Tommy Palm, co-founder and CEO of Resolution Games and long-time Swedish games industry veteran.
• Oskar Burman, general manager of Rovio Stockholm and one of Sweden’s most well-known figures within the games industry.
• Christofer Sundberg, founder and creative director of Avalanche Studios.
• Paul Bragiel, Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and managing partner and co-founder of I/O Ventures.
• Alexander Ekvall, director of product at King Digital Entertainment overseeing production for Candy Crush Saga and other hit games.
“We’re excited to have such prominent games industry players shepherding Stugan’s inaugural batch of participants. The team is also seeing a great amount of support and interest for participation from Sweden’s leading games companies like King Digital Entertainment, Mojang, and others,” said Tommy Palm, cofounder, in a statement. “We’ve received some great applications so far and look forward to seeing how the final group of applicants shapes up.”
Stugan is taking applications until April 15. That’s a later deadline than the original March 31 deadline, but it gives applicants time to react to initial feedback and resubmit their entries.
The Finnish success in mobile games is a guide for Stugan. Finland’s Tekes government agency has funded lots of game startups, and that has paid off with huge tax revenues from Supercell, the publisher of Hay Day and Clash of Clans. The mobile-game business is expected to grow from $25 billion in 2014 to $30 billion worldwide in 2015, according to market researcher Newzoo.
The Swedes have had success too, via companies like Candy Crush Saga publisher King Digital Entertainment; Electronic Arts’ DICE division, the maker of the Battlefield series; Mojang, the maker of Minecraft (acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion); and Avalanche Studios, the maker of Just Cause and the upcoming Mad Max being published by Warner Bros. Revenues in Sweden’s game industry grew to $1 billion in 2013, up 76 percent from a year earlier. Employment was 2,534 employees in 2013, up 29 percent.
Stugan was also the name of the first Swedish video game — an adventure title published in 1977.