Some of Sweden’s most influential video game developers and entrepreneurs are supporting a new non-profit accelerator program for aspiring video game developers named Stugan.
The initiative is being overseen by leading individuals from the Swedish games industry, including Oskar Burman (Rovio), Tommy Palm (King Digital Entertainment) and Christofer Sundberg (Avalanche Studios), as well as developers from the likes of Mojang and others. Stugan aims to assist the burgeoning community of talented-yet-undiscovered game developers across the globe.
The word Stugan means “the cabin” in Swedish, and is also a reference to the first Swedish commercial computer game made in 1978. Since then, the country’s video games revenue has grown to nearly one billion US dollars (6.55 billion Swedish crowns).
“Revenues in Sweden’s games industry grew 76 per cent last year, with employment growing nearly 30 per cent,” said Swedish Games Industry spokesperson Per Strömbäck. “Talent is a big part of the secret to the success of Swedish games. Stugan is a brilliant concept, because it invests in talent, giving new developers new opportunities and adding to the good karma of generosity within the Swedish games community.”
“The Swedish games industry has catapulted to the forefront of game development over the last decade, with some of the world’s most popular games including Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, Just Cause and others,” said long-time games industry veteran Tommy Palm. “Stugan has been created to share the deep-rooted insights behind these hit games, while inspiring and encouraging students and young designers from around the world, so their ideas and talents can ultimately translate into blockbuster hits as well.”
Twenty aspiring game developers will be selected to spend eight, all-expenses-paid weeks in a traditional “stuga” in the Swedish countryside, where they will be supported, mentored and build their games during the summer of 2015. Top Swedish and international games industry professionals will visit the cabin to hold lectures and workshops in their respective areas of expertise, with the aim of inspiring excellence. Unlike traditional accelerator programs, all Stugan participants will keep the rights to the games they work on.
Individuals or small teams can begin applying in January 2015. At the end of the project, the developers will present their work to potential publishers, sponsors and investors at an event in Stockholm.
Stugan is a non-profit organisation and annual accelerator program for aspiring game developers. Stugan aims to leverage the expertise of established Swedish game industry talents to provide opportunities for shepherding up-and-coming game designers and developers through development, publishing, marketing and more, and to ultimately help ensure a successful game launch.
Stugan is supported by individuals including Oskar Burman, general manager of Rovio Stockholm, Tommy Palm, games guru at King Digital Entertainment and Christofer Sundberg, founder and creative director at Avalanche Studios.