Regional Game Industry Profile Sweden & Stockholm

The Swedish Game Industry has been growing strongly over the last 10 years. Currently, there are 282 game companies* in Sweden, 168 of them in Stockholm Business Alliance. Together with Poland this marks the highest absolute number within our focus regions. Yet, compared to the population size, it remains in the medium range. Almost half of the companies are start-ups founded within the last five years (132 in Sweden, 80 in Stockholm Business Alliance). Numbers on employees are high in absolute terms. Out of the 4,291 employees 3,260 work for companies in Stockholm Business Alliance, indicating that usually only smaller companies are located outside of the capital. In fact, 11 of the 13 companies with more than 50 employees are based in Stockholm. So, on average game enterprises in Stockholm Business Alliance employ 19 people while for the whole of Sweden the mean value is 15. Total revenues are the second highest in the BSR behind Finland. Notably, Sweden has the highest number of incubators that fully focus on games. There are 7** in the whole of Sweden, yet only one of them is based in Stockholm. These early incubators partly explain the high number of start-ups founded in recent years (Swedish Game Developer Index 2017-2018).

*The year covered is 2016.
** Year 2017

Source: Data from Swedish Game Developer Index 2017-2018, own chart

Source: Data from Swedish Game Developer Index 2017-2018, own chart

Source: Own calculations

Interest/lobby associations 1
Incubators with full focus on games 7**
Technical incubators that could in principle harbour game start-ups 30+**
Revenue 2016: 1,325 m €, 2015: 1,233 m €, 2014: 988 m € (source: Swedish Game Developer Index 2017-2018)

Additional information

The Swedish game industry has been growing rapidly during the recent years. It has developed from a hobby for enthusiasts into a global industry with cultural and economic significance over just a few decades. There are almost 300 game companies in Sweden and more than a half of them are located in the Stockholm region.

Game development is a growth industry with over half of the Swedish companies established after 2010. In 2016 the total revenue of the Swedish game companies was EUR 1.33 bn (this number has doubled in the space of just three years).

The number of employees also increases every year. Between 2015 and 2016 the number increased by 15%, or 558 full time positions. In total there are 4291 employees working in the Swedish game industry. However, this number is only counting full time employees, disregarding freelance consultants. Taking these freelancers into account would increase the number by 5-15% to around 5,000 people working in the game industry in Sweden.

One of the strengths of the Swedish game industry is a broad range of the focus of the companies in terms of platforms. There are global leading companies creating mobile games (King, Rovio Stockholm…), PC and console games (DICE, Avalanche Studios…) and VR games (Resolution Games, Starbreeze). Swedish game developers are quick to adapt new technologies, such as VR (nearly 10% of the Swedish game companies are developing VR games, and there have been a few cases of high-profile foreign investments in Swedish companies).

There are only 10 m people living in Sweden so there is a relatively small domestic market in Sweden, therefore the Swedish game developers make games directly for the global market. There is a good ecosystem in Sweden to foster new game developers. Some of the world’s best game development schools are located in Sweden and there is a number of incubators that are dedicated solely to games. There are also events for independent game developers which contribute to the creativity of the Swedish game developers (e.g. No More Sweden, Stugan, Castle Game Jam).

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Status: 01/2019

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