The Swedish game industry continues to grow and break new records in turnover. This is the result of the Game Developer Index published by the Swedish Games Industry. This year’s statistics also show that the number of women is increasing – 44% of new entrants to the sector are women.
“It is gratifying to see not only an increase in turnover and profits, but also an increase in female talent. This is a step in the right direction towards a more inclusive game industry,” says Hanna Müller, business developer with a focus on the game industry at Boden Business Park.
Swedish game development is an export industry operating in a largely global market. In a few decades, the games industry has grown from a hobby for enthusiasts to a worldwide industry with cultural and economic importance. And the new basic industry continues to grow and break new records. This year’s statistics show both increased turnover and more employees.
In 2022, the Swedish games industry’s turnover grew to SEK 32.5 billion, which is an increase of 18 percent in Swedish-registered companies. In total, including subsidiaries abroad, the Swedish industry had a turnover of SEK 86.5 billion, an increase of 47%.
Swedish game companies are growing, employing 8,445 people in 2022 in Sweden and 16,494 people abroad. The global increase is mainly acquisition-driven.
In Sweden, 501 people were hired, an increase of just over six percent.
Increasing proportion of women in the sector
A notable feature of this year’s statistics is the gender distribution of new recruits, with almost every second person, 44.3%, being a woman. A total of 1,977 positions in game companies in the country are held by women. This represents a share of 23.4%, an increase of one percentage point compared to 2021. The report also shows that 51 companies are made up of at least half women, compared to 29 the previous year.
“Women represent a significant proportion of gaming consumers and their influence and preferences are crucial. If we manage to increase the share of women in the creation of games and gaming experiences, this can result in more diverse and inclusive products that better reflect the broad target group of gamers,” says Hanna Müller, business developer with a focus on the game industry at Boden Business Park.
“This development has the potential to benefit both the game industry and its customers, while promoting a more equal and inclusive workplace culture, which is in line with our goal for Boden Game Camp “.
Susanna Goldkuhl is an education coordinator at the Future Games Boden, which runs game educations at Boden Game Camp.
“We have noticed a marked difference in the gender distribution among those who have applied for the game development programs this year and those who have started the programs. It is good to see an increase in diversity. Something we believe is a result of having a greater variety of students is that they also become a positive development for the climate that leads to a permissive atmosphere where everyone is welcome as they are”, she says.
Deteriorating situation in 2023
While turnover increased for the industry in 2022, several gaming companies have reported a deteriorating financial situation in 2023, both with layoffs and in some cases closed studios.
“It is important not to ignore the economic challenges faced by some game companies and to be realistic that the situation today is different from the 2022 figures. Even though this is a generally tougher period for the industry, I think it will make companies more robust and well positioned for the future,” says Hanna Müller.
“The overall economic situation affects us all. Even in Boden, we notice that “money is more expensive” and that investments in our local companies are not made to the same extent. I believe that you have to be creative and drill down to find solutions, even if the solution is not the same as you first thought.
The Game Developer Index maps, reports and analyses Swedish game companies’ operations and international industry trends over the past year by compiling the companies’ annual reports.