Helen – Dambuster Studios

Why Crunch Has to Die

It’s busy days for Helen Haynes, as she and the rest of Dambuster Studios put the final touches to Dead Island 2. But as an HR manager, Helen’s mission is not killing zombies — it's creating the best working conditions possible. And since retirement is just around the corner for Helen, she’s not holding back when she delivers some hard-earned truths about what HR should be in the games industry. Buckle up!

We embrace great people, great ideas and great companies.
These are their stories.

A Man Without a Plan B

When David Lahmeyer received a Nintendo 64 for Christmas, he made his mind up — he was going to work in the games industry! He was only eight years old and since then he has never bothered to make any other career plans. Failing to become a programmer did not hinder his ambitions, nor did working in the industry stop him from collecting Nintendo 64 games.

The forgotten MSX home computer

Embracer Games Archive – The forgotten MSX Home Computer

Remember MSX, the Japanese computer standard from the 80s, with its huge selection of games? Did you know that Bomberman made its debut on this hybrid of console and home computer? If not, don’t worry. Thomas Sunhede, retro gaming advisor at Embracer Games Archive, will tell you all about this mostly forgotten console.

Kavalri Games
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The cavalry has arrived

Growing up, Molly Ericson loved two things — horses and video games. When studying game design at the university she became annoyed when she watched her boyfriend play FIFA. Why were there no sports games like that for equestrian sports? So she decided to fix that problem herself, and brought her fiancé along on the ride.

Vermila Studios
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The world’s most inclusive game studio?

Making game studios more inclusive and increasing the gender balance are big challenges for the games industry. The good news? Vermila Studios in Madrid seems to have found a solution to the problem. The bad news? They don’t really know how they did it.

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Welcome to the Well-Being Committee

Do we really need more committees? Well, if the committee is committed to your well-being, the answer might be yes. At Deep Silver Dambuster Studios in Nottingham, Emma Green and the other members of the Well-Being Committee is busy making the work place better for everyone, with a special focus on mental health. As it turns out, it doesn’t need to be all that complicated.

260 Drawings To Die For
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260 drawings to die for

Growing up under communism in East Germany wasn’t great for graphic novel buff Michael Hochhaus. The only good comics he could get his hands on were the few his relatives managed to smuggle in. But Michael beat the odds, and today he works for Koch Films and has an impressive collection of drawings from some the world’s best-known cartoonists and animators.

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Diary of a dying girl

Aisha Kuipers was 30 years old and had achieved her dream of being a PR manager at the VR studio Vertigo Games. That’s when she discovered she had incurable cancer. How do you maintain a sense of purpose, joy and gratitude in the middle of dealing with all that? Well, Aisha has some answers.

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Hunting for hidden treasures in the Games Archive

David finds rare Nintendo special editions, a Mega CD collection with unopened games, a handheld games collection with some very special Pokemon games, and he also tells us all about his love for fat TVs.

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From the Davecave to the world’s biggest game cave

In a vault somewhere close to Karlstad, Sweden, the ever-growing Embracer Games Archive is stored. It’s time to do some serious unboxing and find out what kind of gaming treasures are hidden in all those pallets and boxes. Join Games Archive’s new CO David Boström on one last visit to the vault.

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Childhood dreams can come true

Aaron Fernández had two dreams growing up, to become a rock star or a game developer. Both seemed out of reach as he worked in the family business, a metal workshop in Madrid. But then he hurt his shoulder, downloaded Unreal Engine for free and started practicing coding on his own. And all of a sudden, maybe that childhood dream wasn’t  that far off after all.

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Probotector and the Konami silver boxes

This fan favourite game has a lot of names! Game historian Martin Lindell has looked through another box in the growing Embracer Games Archive collections, and found the Konami silver boxes, and more specifically the game Probotector. If you don’t recognise the name, don’t worry. You might know it by one of its other names.

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Road trip to underdog country

Video games are great, but for Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors, it all began with used comic books. Growing up in the countryside and in need of cash, he started his first business when he was in primary school and ran Sweden’s largest used comics business by the time he was 15. That’s when he took notice of some second-hand Nintendo games and that’s when everything changed.

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When enough is enough

As a woman, you should be able to say what you want, be who you want, dress the way you want – and still be taken as serious as a man. Amplifier Game Invest executive Linn-Marie Edlund grew up loving games and saw no limit to what she could do within the gaming world. Then she met men who thought otherwise. So she quit. But only for a while. Now she’s back, with an important message.

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From two wheels to Hot Wheels

Italy’s biggest game studio, Milestone in Milan, is experiencing great success with a toy car game for kids, Hot Wheels Unleashed. But before it came 30 years of doing realistic motorcycle racing games. CEO Luisa Bixio tells the story of the studio, why they wanted to be a part of Embracer and what lies ahead.

Paula Cal & Flor Coletta
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The stray dogs from Argentina, and their humans

Tita and Lexa escaped their lives as stray dogs in Buenos Aires, to a small town in Sweden. They also brought their humans, Paula Cal and Flor Coletta, with them on their journey. Or was it the other way around? Anyway, Paula and Flor also happen to be skilled games developers who are currently working on a new strategy game at Palindrome Interactive.

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Why horse games is a thing

Horse games have actually been big since the 90’s, yet they are rarely discussed in neither games media nor among games collectors. Thomas Sunhede, Retro Games Advisor at Embracer, dives into the Games Archive and tries to understand why this is.

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The success of Valheim and the people behind it all

With eight million copies sold, the Viking survival game Valheim is one of this year’s great success stories in the games industry. This is the story of how it all started and where it’s going from here. Meet Iron Gate studio founder Henrik Törnqvist, community manager Lisa Kolfjord and publisher Sebastian Badylak of Coffee Stain Studios.

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The ups and downs of a bipolar streamer

Content warning: This video contains discussions about mental health and suicide. Jace Varlet is a popular community manager at Coffee Stain Studios, reaching thousands each week in his streams. But once the camera is off, another reality awaits. Jace suffers from bipolar II disorder, a chronic mental illness, characterized by periods of severe depression and hypomania.

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Adventure Vision and the other turtles

Once again we sent game historian Martin Lindell into the secret vault, where Embracer Group’s growing game collection is stored. This time he found something really rare – a tabletop arcade machine called Adventure Vision, from 1982.

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The fabulous times as community manager for Valheim

”It’s a mixture of excitement and horror”, says Lisa Kolfjord. Late last year she was hired as a 3D artist and community manager by a small indie studio, developing their first game. The game was called Valheim. When it was released in February, Valheim became a huge hit, with millions of players. As the person in charge of such a big player community, Lisa Kolfjord’s working life has changed. A lot.

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A tale of two very empty game studios

A story of a lonely coffee machine, a bank vault, something that looks like a prison courtyard, and having really bad timing when renting new office spaces.

Mattias Kylén
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A studio of one’s own, without the hassle of owning it

What do you do when you are a brilliant game developer who just wants to make the games of your dreams, but really don’t want to have to deal with the business side of things? Well, you could do what Mattias Kylén did.

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Early access to the Embracer Group games archive

Deep down in a secret vault, Embracer Group’s growing game collection is stored at the moment. But we have early access, and game historian Martin Lindell has picked out a selection of classics from the archive, to show us. We’ll soon be back with more stories from the collection.

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Delivering a game in the epicentre of a pandemic

Developing a game is hard under the best of circumstances, but how do you cope when a pandemic strikes unexpectedly? Producer Michele Caletti knows all about it.

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Gamechangers

Nathalie, Hannah and Anna grew up as nerdy girls, not really finding their place in the world. Not until they realized that making games was actually a job. And that they were good at it.

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How to be a good person online

Include, share and encourage. It’s not that complicated to be a middle aged senior game developer and still be a nice person online. Henrik Jonsson even received an award for his demeanor, and he has some simple advice.

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Not men in suits

Per-Arne Lundberg wanted to help students start their own game studios. The idea was to take care of all the boring stuff for them, and let them focus on the creative part. It started small, but today it has blossomed into Amplifier Game Invest.

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A warm and fuzzy feeling

Stephanie was not allowed to play video games growing up, but she’s making up for it now. She has both a great career in the games industry and a full sleeve to show for it.

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Kick-Ass Kicki

Kicki Wallje Lund left home when she was fifteen. Her parents told her she would never make it on her own. That was 50 years ago and Kick-Ass Kicki is still proving them wrong, every day.

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The story that needed to be played

Does the world need another video game with nazis? Jörg Friedrich and Paintbucket Games think so. Their game tells a story we have never played before.

Taps – Anthony Moss
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Taps the musketeer

Anthony Moss is not a man who allows circumstances to dictate his life. That’s why, at 57, he’s restarting his career in selling games, as well as tap-dancing while fencing.

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The Austrian games pioneer and the annoying Swede

He sold his first video games from his parents’ house in the ’80s. In the ’90s he started Austrias first video games company. Then he met a most annoying Swedish businessman. Twice.