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Two steps forward for the gaming industry in Boden
4 december 2018, posted by Malin Winsa

Two steps forward for the gaming industry in Boden

Mattias Bergqvist at Boden Business Park has a clear mission: to create a gaming industry in Boden. And he is a good bit on his way. Game education is growing and international companies are in the process of starting game studios here.

It was about two years since Mattias started working at Boden Business Park in Sävast, with a big mission on his shoulders. There was neither company, development culture nor history, and no people in the industry in place. Now you start to see the results of the strategies you chose to build a gaming industry.

- It's a fun challenge, but a very big challenge. One of the first thoughts was to get talented to build something in the long run. The easiest way is to get students here, and it is also the most sustainable.

In August 2017, first education began in indie game development, with Sunderby Folkhögskola as principal and Changemaker Educations as a trainer. They also run Future Games in Stockholm, which was named the world's second best game training this year. Until next autumn, they have applied for four new courses at the vocational college level here.

- We do not only have a game education but we have a world-class gaming education. What they intend to start up here will be Future Games North. Hopefully, we will get through two new courses next year.

The idea is that there should be 200 students here in two years.

- Then we have drawn talent and made ourselves interesting. One of the biggest growth threats in the Swedish gaming industry has been that there were not enough employable people. It is our great opportunity.


New establishments

Once the talent has come here, he also wants to give them good opportunities to stay here. To succeed, he has attracted national and international companies to start up small studios, but also helped students who want to start their own game studios.

- It's really good, things that had been unthinkable two years ago are quite realistic today, which is quite crazy.

What Mattias will not talk about right now. Here the students will have the opportunity to do their internship during the spring term and then there may also be opportunities for employment. In the education there are also students who have or will start their own companies and have the opportunity to work with them during the internship.

- If the last puzzle piece falls into place, 96 percent of all students will do their internship here in Boden," says Mattias.


Dream scenario

At an early stage, Mattias identified people from Boden who are active in the gaming industry today and quickly found about ten people around Sweden and the world. As a third step in industry building, Mattias wants to show relocated bodens in the gaming industry the opportunity to move back. Then there are concrete work opportunities, something that is about to happen.

- The goal is a mix of students starting their own companies, some established companies setting up studios in Boden and getting some senior people from Boden to move back here and work in the game industry here. It would have been optimal. My dream scenario is that we are getting a company that grows up here, which will be very successful.

An important part of the work has been to establish contacts in the industry that consist of around 5,000 people in Sweden. Mattias and his colleagues have come to know people who opened doors to make this happen.

- We have been out in the world and taken the world here. Very much is about meeting and showing what we are building, and we notice that it gives results.

Text and photo:
KOMM/Bodens kommun

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