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10 of the coolest Swedish games developers to work for

Ever dream of following in the footsteps of other internationals by moving to Sweden to work in its burgeoning games industry? The Local looks at 10 of Sweden's coolest games companies of recent years to help point you in the right direction...

10 of the coolest Swedish games developers to work for
A screenshot from critically acclaimed A Way Out, developed by Josef Fares' studio Hazelight. Photo: Hazelight

MachineGames

Based in university city Uppsala, in 2014 MachineGames took on the challenge of developing new chapters in the Wolfenstein series, a franchise that has been loved by gamers since the original was released way back in 1981 but was struggling following a distinctly average reboot attempt in 2009.

The Swedish developer has managed to revive the series and consistently push it forward, with the most-recent chapter, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, the most critically acclaimed of the bunch.

DICE

There's no denying that Star Wars Battlefront II took a battering from critics following its disappointing 2017 release, but that blip on the radar aside, recent smash hits like Battlefield 1 and Mirror's Edge Catalyst mean Stockholm developer EA DICE remains a place most would give an arm and a leg to work at.

With the next installment of the Battlefield series due in 2018, there will be no shortage of hype building around developments at their Södermalm office in the coming months.

FOR MEMBERS: How to land a dream job at a Swedish tech startup

Thunderful

Formed in December 2017 through a merger of two studios to create a Gothenburg gaming powerhouse, Thunderful brings the experience of the Steamworld series through its developer Image & Form (whose latest title SteamWorld Dig 2 was a critical hit) and partner studio Zoink, the brains behind impressive indie adventure Fe.

The west coast veterans will move into a new office in 2018 and turn to combining their powers to develop a new title.

Experiment 101

The hype over new Swedish studio Experiment 101's forthcoming title BioMutant is massive after it was named one of Metacritic’s most anticipated PS4 games of 2018. THQ have bought into the excitement too, purchasing the indie developer in November 2017, suggesting they expect big things.

Starbreeze Studios

Stockholm studio Starbreeze is responsible for perhaps one of the saddest games of all time in the form of award-winning title Brothers: A tale of two sons, developed in cooperation with Swedish film director Josef Fares.

The company is no one-trick pony either. As a publisher, Starbreeze has also seen big success thanks to Dead by Daylight selling more than three million copies since its initial release in 2016.

Mojang

Regardless of whether you're a fan, it is difficult to argue against Minecraft being the most important Swedish game of all time, and the sandbox adventure's continued success more than seven years and hundreds of millions of sales since its release shows that Mojang continues to be relevant.

READ ALSO: 10 of the best Swedish games everyone should try

Hazelight Studios

Founded by Josef Fares following the aforementioned success of Brothers, with A Way Out, Hazelight Studios has lived up to the heady standards set by Fares' previous game while at the same time moving in a different direction through the decision to make the title co-op only.

Critically lauded for its immersive two-player gameplay, A Way Out has also been a commercial success for the fledgling studio, selling more than one million copies since its March release. Everyone is keen to find out what the film director turned developer is working on next, though he hasn't given away too many details yet.

Stunlock Studios

Based in Skövde in southern Sweden, Stunlock has been around since 2010 but it's 2017 multiplayer Battlerite that's their most exciting work to date, earning praise for its focus on skill and an addictive fast pace.

The Swedish company has just launched a professional league for players of the game to help satisfy the demands of its growing community.

READ ALSO: Inside the office of a Stockholm VR games developer

Coldwood Interactive

Umeå's Coldwood Interactive wowed gamers with the release of unique platformer Unravel in multiple formats in 2016, being rated as the best new title for PC by Metacritic and stunning with its unique visuals and sound.

Fans are now waiting with bated breath for more information on the sequel, with details still scarce.

Avalanche Studios

Known for the hugely popular Just Cause series that has spawned three titles and a movie project since launching in 2006, Stockholm's Avalanche has been focusing on a hunting simulator in recent years but it's the recent revelation that their next project will be another open-world action game that has really thrilled gamers.

An intriguing detail is that the new project will make use of the real-life faces of 12 people, who can apply to have their likeness immortalized in the game.

 
 

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READER QUESTIONS

Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

A reader got in touch to ask how long he had to work in Sweden before he was eligible for a pension. Here are Sweden's pension rules, and how you can get your pension when the time comes.

Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

The Swedish pension is part of the country’s social insurance system, and it can seem like a confusing beast at times. The good news is that if you’re living and working here, you’ll almost certainly be earning towards a pension, and you’ll be able to get that money even if you move elsewhere before retirement.

You will start earning your Swedish general pension, or allmän pension, once you’ve earned over 20,431 kronor in a single year, and – for almost all kinds of pension in Sweden – there is no time limit on how long you must have lived in Sweden before you are eligible.

The exception is the minimum guarantee pension, or garantipension, which you can receive whether you’ve worked or not. To be eligible at all for this, you need to have lived in Sweden for a period of at least three years before you are 65 years old. 

“There’s a limit, but it’s a money limit,” Johan Andersson, press secretary at the Swedish Pension Agency told The Local about the general pension. “When you reach the point that you start paying tax, you start paying into your pension.”

“But you have to apply for your pension, make sure you get in touch with us when you want to start receiving it,” he said.

Here’s our in-depth guide on how you can maximise your Swedish pension, even if you’re only planning on staying in Sweden short-term.

Those who spend only a few years working in Sweden will earn a much smaller pension than people who work here for their whole lives, but they are still entitled to something – people who have worked in Sweden will keep their income pension, premium pension, supplementary pension and occupational pension that they have earned in Sweden, even if they move to another country. The pension is paid no matter where in the world you live, but must be applied for – it is not automatically paid out at retirement age.

If you retire in the EU/EEA, or another country with which Sweden has a pension agreement, you just need to apply to the pension authority in your country of residence in order to start drawing your Swedish pension. If you live in a different country, you should contact the Swedish Pensions Agency for advice on accessing your pension, which is done by filling out a form (look for the form called Ansök om allmän pension – om du är bosatt utanför Sverige).

The agency recommends beginning the application process at least three months before you plan to take the pension, and ideally six months beforehand if you live abroad. It’s possible to have the pension paid into either a Swedish bank account or an account outside Sweden.

A guarantee pension – for those who live on a low income or no income while in Sweden – can be paid to those living in Sweden, an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or, in some cases, Canada. This is the only Swedish pension which is affected by how long you’ve lived in Sweden – you can only receive it if you’ve lived in the country for at least three years before the age of 65.

“The guarantee pension is residence based,” Andersson said. “But it’s lower if you haven’t lived in Sweden for at least 40 years. You are eligible for it after living in Sweden for only three years, but it won’t be that much.”

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