Every year, gamescom has a partner country. This year, with the partner being the Nordic region, it will even be five: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden joined forces and set up the Nordic Game Institute (NGI) to showcase at gamescom why they are wildly successful in the gaming scene. With more than 700 companies, over 7,000 employees and an annual revenue of more than 1.5 billion EUR in 2013, the gaming industry is the fastest growing industry in the Nordic region.
When we asked you which games you play that originate from there, naturally the name Minecraft was mentioned a lot. With this game, Swedish Notch/Markus Persson has become a household name even beyond the gaming scene. By the way: in addition to many games developers, Persson’s company, Mojang, also employs a “Director of Fun”! Hopefully, he will be a part of the Minecraft movie that is supposedly in the making by Mojand and Warner Bros.
At least as interesting as the big blockbusters is the independent scene in the Nordic countries. Every year at the “Nordic Game” show in Sweden, the “Nordic Indie Sensation” is elected. The event took place for the tenth time in May 2014 – and the winner, “Among the sleep” by Krillbite, comes from Norway.
The fact that the scene is so vivid is probably also due to the existence of an official subsidy programme by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR): since 2006, the “Nordic Game Program” has supported more than 100 games developers with more than 5 million Euros. The initiative especially focusses on games for children and adolescents. Games that have emerged from this programme are, for instance, Max & the Magic Marker, IloMilo, The Ball and Limbo.
You can find further interesting news on the creative Nordic games scene on the non-profit pages of “Neogames“ (Finland) or the “Copenhagen Game Collective“ (Denmark). The latter report on events and news from the Nordic region, such as „Lyst Summit“, an underground games show in Copenhagen which specializes in the topic of “Romance, Love and Sex“.
In the area of education as well, there are interesting incitements from Scandinavia: The “Game Assembly“, based in Malmö, offers its own 2.5 years long programme for games development, including art, design, programming and technology; in Denmark, the well-known games developer Andrea Hasselager tries to get young girls interested in games and technology with her “Game Girl Workshop“.
This is just a little taste of our cooperation partner this year. If you want to learn more about the games from the Nordic Region, feel free to visit our partner region at gamescom 2014!