Magnus Alm builds creative teams

Magnus Alm has been working in game development for the past ten years, encompassing everything from design and building creative teams to marketing. Magnus is a co-founder of the gaming company Lavapotion, which develops strategy games for PC and Mac.

Where are your users located?

-Our audience is global. So far, we have released one game, which is translated into 13 different languages. Working with digital sales and localizing (translating and adapting) all texts means that China accounts for a significant portion of our sales.

What is your absolute biggest intangible asset?

-The brand Songs of Conquest is undoubtedly the most important. But of course, also our technology and the expertise within the team. We strive to work agilely and adaptively towards our users, and there is great strength in our approach, even though it places high demands on employees in terms of communication, flexibility, and priorities.

What is the demand like for strategy games?

-Primarily among the PC audience, there is a demand for these games. As a genre, it is much smaller than, for example, first-person shooters, but the competition is also smaller, and players do not have the same expectations regarding graphics, production values, etc. Gameplay is key, and the fact that the game is fun and can be played for a long time is what our users primarily look for, rather than the latest graphics.

Do you involve users in concept and development?

-Absolutely! We have a Community Manager who keeps an ear to the ground, reads reviews, picks up trends in feedback, and communicates internally within the team. Many of the team members are active in our various social channels and forums where our players communicate with us. We also have a system for reporting bugs and feedback directly within the game, which is synced weekly by our QA Manager, who ranks and prioritizes together with the developers.

Do you use AI tools in game production?

-To a limited extent, and primarily as a way to sometimes progress a little faster, not as a pure production tool. It can be useful for bouncing off text and code issues, but it cannot replace our craftsmanship at present. I never see our studio dismissing staff to replace them with AI, although certain roles may benefit greatly from AI to make the job more efficient, which in the long run may mean fewer people are hired in the future. I believe AI will be one of many tools used but not something that replaces employed personnel, rather complementing the resources of the staff.

What is the most significant thing that has happened in the gaming industry in the past ten years?

-The gaming industry is evolving rapidly, and it is difficult to pinpoint one thing as the single most important event. Covid affected the industry in an unexpected way as game sales skyrocketed due to many people simply spending a lot of time at home. In 2023, we saw the aftermath of this when revenues did not continue to increase at the same rate. The global interest rates have changed, reducing access to capital, while revenues have stagnated. The playing field has thus changed in many ways and very quickly.