The Swedish games industry today revealed a new initiative called Stugan, which is essentially an accelerator program to help new, aspiring game developers start building games. The non-profit program is being being overseen by Sweden's top games figures, including Oskar Burman (Rovio), Tommy Palm (King Digital Entertainment), Christofer Sundberg (Avalanche Studios), and developers from Mojang and others.
While Stugan is a Swedish project, it will seek out developers from across the globe. Twenty developers will be selected to spend eight weeks with all expenses paid in a traditional "Stugan" - the name means cabin and is also a reference to the first Swedish commercial computer game made in 1978 - in the Swedish countryside next summer, where they will be mentored while building their games. There will also be lectures and workshops from thought leaders and when the program ends, all participants will keep the rights to the games they work on.
"Revenues in Sweden's games industry grew 76 percent last year with employment growing nearly 30 percent," said Per Strömbäck spokesperson of trade body Swedish Games Industry. "Talent is a big part of the secret to the success of Swedish games. Stugan is a brilliant concept, because it invests in talent, giving new developers new opportunities and adding to the good karma of generosity within the Swedish games community."
"The Swedish games industry has catapulted into the forefront of game development over the last decade with some of the world's most popular games including Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, Just Cause and others," said Tommy Palm. "Stugan has been created to share the deep rooted insights behind these hit games, while inspiring and encouraging students and young designers from around the world so their ideas and talents can ultimately translate into blockbuster hits as well."
When the program finishes next summer, the developers will then present their work to potential publishers, sponsors and investors at an event in Stockholm. Applications will start in January 2015, and more information can be found here.