This is not the new normal

Normally, Michael Paeck, executive producer at THQ Nordic in Vienna, travels at least ten days a month. It’s a natural consequence of him working with five game studios in four different countries. With the outbreak of Covid-19, this all changed. All five of the studios have solved their specific working situations in different ways. For example, one of the studios created a virtual office on Discord, complete with work stations and a kitchen to hang out in.

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

Covid Diaries part 6

In the next pandemic we’ll make all the right decisions

In the spring of 2020, 4A Games was about to, for the first time, send many of their co-workers in Malta and Ukraine to the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 made them cancel the trip which meant that all the money spent on the plane tickets went up in the air. Managing two studios in two different countries during the pandemic, has been challenging for Dean Sharpe, CEO of 4A Games. ”I feel like there has not been any right decision, just bad ones. No one knew how to do this”, Sharpe says.

The Covid diaries part 5

It’s difficult, but we can’t complain. So many have it worse.

Early in 2020 Milan, Italy, was the epicentre of Covid-19 pandemic. In the middle of all this, racing game studio Milestone, had to deal with a new reality. The studio’s CEO Luisa Bixio had to not only handle the shipping of two nearly finished games, but also manage a shift to working from home, for all of their 250 employees. The first such shift in the company’s long history. And just as things seemed to ease up in early autumn, the second wave hit Milan hard.

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.

The Covid Diaries Part 4

In the blink of an eye, my father was gone

When the first wave of Covid-19 hit Madrid in March 2020, Vermila Studios had to adapt quickly. For CEO David Carrasco, however, something happened that was much worse than just difficulties in game development. Something that affected him in a deeply personal way. His father became infected with the virus.

The Covid Diaries Part 3

We got a game done. It was hard, but we did it!

The Covid Diaries Part 3

Lenore Gilbert, CEO of Rainbow Studios in Phoenix, was heading to Milan on a routine business trip. Or so she thought. What she experienced there gave her and her studio a head start when the pandemic hit the US a few weeks later. They are now even launching a new game.

The Covid Diaries Part 2

Will this really last more than three weeks?

The Covid Diaries – Part 2

When the pandemic struck ”the Silicon Prairie” in the American Midwest, Deep Silver Volition managed to adapt quickly. The first obstacle was practical – arranging for the studio’s 200 employees to work from home. It soon became clear to James Torbit, General Manager at the studio, that there were also big challenges of a more human nature.

The Covid Diaries Part 1

When I talk to the invisible people, my dog goes mad

In March 2020, Covid-19 was spreading throughout England. In Nottingham, everyone at Deep Silver Dambuster Studios was forced to start working from home. Studio head Rob Matthews did something he, until recently, never imagined having to do: he went shopping for web cameras for all his co-workers.

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.

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

Mattias Kylén

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Taps the musketeer

Taps – Anthony Moss

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.