Sweden holds a special place in gamers’ hearts. It’s the country that blessed us with sensations like Minecraft. But many forget just how many amazing games Swedish game studios have created over the last decade or even more.
Titles like Battlefield, Hearts of Iron IV, Just Cause, and even Amnesia have all been developed by Swedish studios. However, many people choose to sweep these games under the rug, or simply not mention that it was developed anywhere outside of the US, UK, or Japan. But a fact is a fact, European game development studios are quickly rising in the ranks of the largest conglomerates. Sometimes with just a handful of developers creating the most memorable and masterful games we’ve seen.
Things like Witcher 3 were finally able to help these studios really breach the mainstream and interest people with underdog studios, making their future development and the health of the gaming industry far better.
What makes Swedish Games so Unique?
It’s not that Swedes have a distinct approach to making games in terms of design or anything. It’s just that the majority of large titles that have come from the country, have managed to engrave themselves in gaming culture across the world.
One thing that I can definitely say about the “Nordic” development style is that they’re always trying to challenge the status quo that the gaming scene may have at the moment. Take, Paradox Interactive as an example. They decided that they would double down on the Grand Strategy genre. I’d even say that they pioneered this genre and made it a mainstream attraction for every gamer.
Sure, many may say that it’s like managing a spreadsheet, but that’s the fun of it. Management and total control are what attracts gamers, and Paradox was the first to discover it. Now they hold a well-deserved first place in gamers’ hearts as THE creators for Grand Strategy wargames.
Branching out in Gaming Sectors
Swedish developers or Nordic developers in general don’t necessarily limit themselves to just Triple-A games for desktop or console. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard of Candy Crush, a sensation of a mobile game (which I don’t really see the attraction in). But these developers have also decided to disrupt another, less talked about the sector in the gaming scene, the gambling market. Sweden is a home to dozens of studios producing the most sought after free casino games for Scandinavians and other players alike.
Developers like Yggdrasil Gaming have already been nominated and named as the best developers at a few events.
This was yet again achieved through the implementation of new features in otherwise stale and boring designs. I mean, we’ve all seen what a slot game is like, right? You just press the button and watch all the cool animations. Well, most Nordic developers didn’t think that these animations were enough. The games needed to be a lot more interactive, and they were one of the first ones to start doing that with their software.
Things like bonus levels, additional perks and features, whole story-based slot games, and even progression levels were first tested by European and mostly Nordic companies. Nowadays, most players just toss stale slot games into the bin and devote themselves to these feature-rich options.
Well, naturally it takes a certain type of player to choose them. Those who play these games to make money, couldn’t care less how extravagant the animations are. They just want to see a positive number at the end of a spin. But those who see these casino games as a quick distraction filled with fun, tend to appreciate them a lot more.
Overall, there is more than one way that Swedish developers have disrupted gaming for all of us.
Positive Business Models
The lure of Swedish game studios can also be seen in their business models, or the “correction” of competitor business models so to say. Now, I have to discard Paradox completely here because they’re not the best example of selling an all-in-one game, to be honest.
It also takes a bit more analysis of these Swedish companies to see how they affect the business models of their UK or US counterparts. Take DICE as an example. Without their dedication to the look, gameplay, and feel of the Battlefield franchise, EA would have been a much more despised publisher than it already is today.
The fact is that Swedish companies influence the business models of their publishers by justifying their otherwise unfair prices. By delivering quality, they take away the arguments that would have been there otherwise. For example, had Battlefield I not been the photogenic masterpiece that DICE made it to be, EA would probably face thousands of gamers protesting outside of their head office.
Therefore, with thousands of gamers behind me, I’d like to thank Swedish developers for all the effort they put into their games and make the gaming community a better place.
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