The Swedish game industry is enjoying a renaissance, as it has seen revenue grow 950 percent since 2010 to 1.3 billion euros, or $1.54 billion, from 124 million euros in 2010, according to a the 2017 edition of the Swedish Game Developer Index report.
Sweden has become a global hot spot for the $108 billion games industry, with a number of home-grown companies and foreign firms setting up shop to take advantage of the talent there. It has game studios from Microsoft, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, and Rovio. Top gaming franchises that are built in Sweden include Star Wars, Mad Max, Battlefield, and Avatar.
The number of studios has grown from 145 in 2012 to 287 in 2016, and the number employees grew from 1,967 in 2012 to 4,267 in 2016. The number of women in the industry grew from 293 in 2012 to 786 in 2016. About 10 percent of the Swedish game companies are doing work in virtual reality. The developers are spread across PC, console, mobile, indie games, middleware, and more.
And the Swedish game industry estimates that one in 10 players worldwide have played a game that was made in Sweden, with the headcount running in the hundreds of millions.
“Sweden is blessed with great game developers, but we would hire more if we could. Now, we’re looking to attract new talent from overseas. Some companies have also opened offices in places like New York, Los Angeles, London, and Berlin to tap into that talent pool,” said Per Stromback, spokesperson for Dataspelsbranschen (Swedish Games Industry), in a statement. “Sweden is constantly rated one of the best places to do business and live from top publications, and developers are working even harder to make Sweden a particularly appealing place to work as they attract new games creators from across the globe.”
The group said the majority of companies are profitable, and the industry has reported a total profit for the past eight years. Twenty-five percent of all revenue comes from medium and small companies (50 to 250 employees or under 50 employees, respectively), and these firms have created nearly half the jobs.
Profits have grown from 36 million euros in 2012 to 865 million euros, or $1.02 billion, in 2016.
From 2006 to 2016, the compound annual growth rate for revenue was 34 percent. Among the games developed in Sweden are Battlefield 1, Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, Goat Simulator, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Mad Max, Star Wars Battlefront, Europa Universalis IV, Bait!, and Payday 2.