A blonde man
Tomas Ahlström

Tomas Ahlström - a true innovation angel in the gaming industry

Tomas works as the head of East Sweden Game, a community and workspace for all those interested in game development in Östergötland, whether they are individual game developers or established companies.

East Sweden Game was founded in 2017 as a project within the municipal real estate company Sankt Kors. The purpose behind the initiative was to strengthen entrepreneurship and regional growth, as well as to attract young people by fostering the gaming industry in the region. The initiative was successful, and by 2022, the gaming industry in Östergötland had generated revenue of 121 million SEK, with over 61 companies connected to gaming and approximately 100 employees. Today, it is clear to politicians that the gaming industry is a sector with growth potential in the region.

East Sweden Game is now headquartered in Ebbepark in Linköping and has a co-working office adjacent to the Science Park in the neighboring city of Norrköping. By focusing on the individual game developer working alone at home and inviting them into a shared network and community, miracles happened.

"We invest in the individual where many others invest in companies," says Tomas.

The model is simple. East Sweden Game fosters creativity in individuals, strengthening self-belief, shows possible paths to success, and normalizes achievements. Everyone can succeed. No one is excluded, and all are welcome in the inclusive environment, where game developers have the opportunity to be part of the community, work in co-working spaces, regularly meet the network, and participate in events, all free of charge.

East Sweden Game holds at least one meeting for game developers per week. Among the participants are students, engineers, youth, artists, and self-taught enthusiasts. They regularly meet for game-testing days and exchange thoughts on each other's games and development work.

As a continuation of the regional success story, Valla Folkhögskola has started a game education program that is now well-established with many applicants and collaborates with East Sweden Game by offering internships to students.

 

Tomas has taken the long road in the gaming industry. He started as a 3D graphic artist at UDS in Norrköping in 1997. Since then, he has worked as a game designer, producer, project manager, and entrepreneur, immersing himself in the gaming industry. Tomas enjoys starting up companies and getting things going in the initial stages - a true innovation angel.

Edited 2024-03-27