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GDC - The Nordic Games Cooperation pulls small developers together under a unified banner

March 9, 2007

The Nordic Games Cooperation pulls small developers together under a unified banner
By Michael Lafferty

“This is a young business, full of young talented Nordic people”

When culture is in danger of disappearing due to overwhelming outside influences, then there are some things that can be done to ensure the continued presence of that heritage.

That is where the Nordic Games Cooperation comes into the picture.

The Nordic Games Cooperation, or Program is a publicly funded program that is in the second year of a six-year plan. That plan includes insuring the quality of games developed by the small companies in the five Nordic countries (Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway), and for them to have a Nordic touch or influence.

For companies to qualify to be covered by the Cooperation, there are strict standards that must be met.

Erik Robertson, the managing director of the program took time on Thursday to chat with GameZone.com about the program during the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco.

“This is a young business, full of young talented Nordic people,” Robertson said. “We felt it was important to help them get access to markets.”

When it comes to the way the Nordic developers are viewed, Robertson said that “I do like to believe that Nordic developers are associated with low risk, and you get what you pay for.”

The program was created because “the whole idea behind the Nordic Cooperation is to do things together than each country would not be able to do alone.”

Games are a big business, with development cycles that can take years. For a country to fund a game that has localization (not a lot of big-name titles are translated into the Nordic languages, forcing those who wish to play the games to play in another language, which can be viewed as detrimental to preserving the language and culture of the country), would be a massive undertaking. But under the auspices of the Nordic Game Program, some funding would be available. But this is not a program that is without challenges.

“Distribution will be the biggest challenge,” Robertson stated.

But the program is working in that direction, not only by getting the word out about what the Nordic developers can offer to gamers and publishers, but with other support such as Web pages. It is also working on digital distribution for the products.

But the program is meeting with its share of regional plaudits. “It seems that the Nordic developers are really happy with what we’re doing for them,” Robertson said, smiling.

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