Huge development awaits in Boden and we have already taken the first steps on the way of creating an amazing game cluster far up north. Head of Schoolof Gamemaker and Indiespelutvecklare as well as business developer, Lars Lundqvist and Oskar Petterson, Head of Educations of Gamemaker and Indiespelutvecklare, are two of the key people in driving game development forward in Boden.
Hard Work is Paying Off
“It’s a fantastic journey! From a seed to where we are today, so much has happened. I have to pinch myself when I see the game projects our students have created. We want to develop talent for the industry and now that we can see the result, we have definitely succeeded together”, says Lars. Today more and more requests and projects are brought up to continue the positive development. “It’s an eco-system that’s being built and there are many who are part of it, which makes our work easier. There’s hard work behind all of this and we can finally reap the benefits thanks to that we took the step to get talent to come here”. “Our vision is to help the industry and to continue to develop it. We don’t have all the decisions in our hands, but we have the ambition and we will have to see what happens”.
“You can notice all the time that there is a lot going on”, says Oskar. “The construction of Boden Business Park is also a development that becomes a part of us, and there are many of us who strive to go in the same direction”.
It was definitely the right palace at the right time
Oskar, who was raised in Boden, means that it gives hope to small towns when larger industries have shut down. “We can work together with other communes and head in the same direction when the traditional industries don’t have the power anymore. It’s important to make people stay and it can give back confidence. It’s an industry that gives jobs but also visibility”. He also explains that the cuts of the military in Boden made you lose motivation. “When the cuts started, Boden fumbled in the dark for a bit. I think it’s because of just that, that we are here today. Communes haven’t had this kind of challenge before and they haven’t dared to invest in this kind of way. One of the reasons for the fast development today is due to these obstacles in the past, and they have had to find new ways of working”.
The future ambitions for Boden are very big. The idea is to expand the number of educations, partly through the expansion of Boden Business Park. The context of entity is supposed to support a better industry and to create space for companies and more educations, but also a gym and restaurants.
To keep supporting a sustainable development, Oskar believes that it depends a lot on how the region and the politicians decide to spend money, but also a continuous drive from the other involved parts. “In Boden Business Park, they are really attentive. There is already a burning passion there and the continuous demand and growth of the industry in general creates a need for services and educations”. More help is also needed for those who want to start up their own companies. “It’s hard to find funding for start ups and we need better conditions to start up game studios in the north”, says Lars.
The Next Step
With help that is mostly already in place from the industry and the interest organization, the conditions are good to keep running educations in game development in Boden. This week Boden Business Park announced that the game company Wanderworld will open up in Boden with the game veteran Peter Zetterberg, key person in the Mojang affair with Microsoft, together with Thomas Lindgren, CEO at Glorious Games Group, as well as Hosue of How, founded by indie developer Russ McMackin. When more companies establish in the region, the collection of easily accessible competence improves, as well as internship positions, which makes the educations and the industry develop even more. It’s time to keep your eyes on boden!