Leading Swedish video games developer plans growth in the Liverpool City Region
About Avalanche Studios Group
Established in 2003, Avalanche Studios Group has positioned itself at the forefront of innovative open world video game development. Creators of the wildly popular Just Cause franchise – which has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide – the Group now comprises three creative divisions, Avalanche Studios, Expansive Worlds, and Systemic Reaction. Whether it’s creating immersive outdoor experiences, crafting unique, vast and dynamic worlds, or empowering players with true creative freedom, the three arms of the Avalanche Studios Group are all joined to create worlds without limits.
Founded in Stockholm, the company has offices in Malmö, New York and as of 2020, Liverpool. Originally launched with a core team of five developers, the Liverpool team has gone on to recruit an additional 40 positions. The Liverpool-based team is continuing to play a key role in developing IPs, such as the newly announced Call of the Wild: The Angler, a genre-defying open world fishing experience with the unique combination of freedom, detail, immersion, and quality that people have come to associate with the Call of the Wild name.
Benefits of moving to the LCR
Avalanche Studios Group’s selection of Liverpool as its second international location outside of Sweden builds on the city region’s rich heritage in the games industry. The LCR was home to Psygnosis, a trailblazer at the tail-end of the 1980s, when talented developers were moving to use powerful machines like the Commodore Amiga. After gathering a huge following with its graphically rich games, it was acquired by Sony in 1993. In 2012, Sony closed its Liverpool office, but has now come full circle in returning to the LCR, after its acquisition of Firesprite in 2021.
But the draw of the city region’s impressive lifestyle and cultural credentials was also a major factor in the decision. Previously, Avalanche Studios Group has selected its locations within vibrant city centres where the surroundings inspire the team to create genre-defining games, and the LCR is no exception.
Given its rich musical history, world-leading architectural offering and a diverse food and drink scene, the LCR boasts impressive pull factors for both attracting and retaining talent, which is imperative for a growing studio. Avalanche Studios Group is currently evaluating a flexible hybrid-working policy – 40 percent of time can be spent remotely, 60 percent at the office, distributed in line with project Growth Platform Case Study draft needs. It also supports staff wanting to relocate to the LCR, through the assistance of visa applications, legal formalities, and other potential barriers, because the gaming house genuinely believes in the high quality of life the region can offer its employees.
Avalanche Studios Group has gone through a strong period of growth, following the recruitment of 100 people in 2020, and facilitated by the pool of 250,000 students that develop specialist expertise at the 12 universities within the City Region, each year.
Results to date
In June 2022, Avalanche Studios Group announced Call of the Wild: The Angler, the first open world fishing experience of this scale
The Liverpool team played a key role in the development of this new game
Since moving to the site in 2020, the team has grown to over 40 developers
Opened a location on the Royal Albert Dock
Support from Growth Platform and the LCR
Alice Lamb, Head of Investment Services at the LCR’s Growth Platform, worked with Avalanche Studios Group when they expressed an interest in finding the right fit for a UK location, with the inquiry originally coming in from the Department for International Trade.
Alice assisted in providing information and property solutions, introducing the gaming house to multiple key figures across the city region, before landing upon the Albert Dock office space that it is currently situated within.
Reflecting on its move to the LCR, Pim Holfve, CEO of Avalanche Studios Group, said: “While we’re relatively new to Liverpool’s thriving game development scene, Avalanche Studios Group has created games for millions of players around the world for nearly two decades. We’re known for the Just Cause franchise, Mad Max, Rage 2, and theHunter: Call of the Wild, to name a few.”
“Since we expanded here in May 2020, we’ve grown to over 40 talented developers who collaborate closely with colleagues at our other locations. Last November, we finally cut the ribbon at our new location on the Royal Albert Dock. It’s a place teeming with creativity and boasting some breath-taking water views. We can’t wait to welcome more talented Avalanchers as we continue our sustainable growth journey here in Liverpool.”
Pim Holfve, CEO of Avalanche Studios Group
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