The gaming industry in Sweden

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As of today, the main cultural export of Sweden is considered to be the gaming industry. Stockholm has become one of the main hubs of the gaming industry and they are trying to advance the industry more. The global covid pandemic worked in favor of the entertainment industry as people were given the opportunity to dive into the different world because we all were stuck at home and without the chance to go out or hang out with our friends. As the advanced technologies are improving from day to day, it is having an impact on many other industries as well and the gaming industry appears to be the one that could gain an advantage out of it.

Boost of the industry in Sweden

“Vilheim” which is a Viking-themed survival game based on Scandinavian myth is the latest that won great fame, with five million copies sold since its early-access release last month. It is a follower of a long line of global successes games such as “Minecraft”, “Candy Crush Saga”, and critically-acclaimed creative games such as “Unravel” that have boosted Sweden into the top echelons of the gaming field. While the top countries, in this case, are the US and Japan, Sweden, if we take into consideration that it is a small country with 10 million people, it plays a very important role in the development of the gaming field.

According to a  report that was published in December by the Swedish Games Industry, the country’s game makers brought in a total of 2.32 billion euros ($2.77 billion) in 2019, 24 percent more than a year earlier. It is expected that the same numbers For 2020  will be even higher, as people were forced to spend more time in front of their computers when virus restrictions confined them to their homes and the lockdowns started. Since 2014, the number of gaming companies has doubled and counted the employees roughly to say almost 10 thousand. However, Sweden’s Embracer Group has been on an acquiring celebration of its own success in recent years as it waits to create something even greater.

The tipping point for success

The story of how it all started at the end of the 20s century. The parliament passed the bill in 1997, it allowed for tax benefits that enabled Swedes to hire a computer through their employer, making PCs commonplace in Swedish homes early on. However, the major Swedish studios were founded by people born in the 1970s, so it means that the industry is way younger than the actual date.

 Another tipping point for Swedish game makers was the crash of the dot-com bubble in 2000. The Gaming studios that were existing in Sweden in the 1990s were mostly concentrated on educational games in Swedish and were wiped out as investment capital was not sufficient for paying for its development. Out of these obstacles, the new era of the Swedish gaming industry was born and the new generation of studios instead targeted the international market. However, it will not be fair not to mention that other than video games, many other alternatives to the gaming industry are having the boost as well, for example, online games, gambling websites, or many others that suggest the games that are very popular nowadays, like games on that attracted a lot of players quickly after release. The increase of activity in this field is also fueled due to the global pandemic as it gave people a great opportunity to relax after being stuck the whole month at home.

Indie Hits

Many of the video game studios in Sweden are now trying to develop games with expensive budgets similar to Hollywood movies, often called AAA titles. However, there are several independent groups that are trying to create new ones as well. They already have such an example which is called Frictional Games, based in the southern city of Helsingborg, which had only had a few employees when its “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” was an astonishing success in 2010. In the new era of social media and youtube, it is way easier to make a good PR campaign for your games than it was several years ago.


Finally, to sum up, Swedish video games were always popular on the market but when it comes to major popularity, it is a matter of several years. Moreover, it is no surprise that one of the main factors for that was the global pandemic that was caused by the covid virus outbreak and which changed the days of our lives. People were left without the opportunity to go out and they were all forced to stay home and try new things to entertain themselves. Swedish video game industry appeared to be ready to satisfy the increased demand on the market.

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