Elite Game Developers podcast

This is the ultimate game development podcast, where your host Joakim Achrén, the co-founder of Next Games, talks to founders of games companies, and together they explore the aspects of creating successful games companies.

You don’t want to miss out on these, as you’ll uncover the timeless ideas, game development processes, stories, and life lessons that will help you master the best of what other people have already figured out.

Listen on: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or access the episodes below and listen to them on our site.

Jere Partanen and Erik Gloersen — Investing in early-stage gaming

In this episode, I talk with Jere Partanen and Erik Gloersen from Sisu Game Ventures, an early-stage gaming venture fund. Both Jere and Erik are newcomers to venture capital investing, although both have a background from working with gaming startups. In this discussion, we talk about the competitiveness of early-stage games investing, how a fund like Sisu can win deals and how the partners at Sisu are helping the founders they’ve invested in.

Alon Grinshpoon — Building for the metaverse

I’m talking with Alon Grinshpoon, who is the founder and CEO of Echo, a cloud platform for 3D, AR, and VR assets. After realizing that the metaverse and other platforms were going to become huge, Alon and his brother started the company a few years ago, and now they’ve just raised a VC round for the top gaming investors. In this discussion with Alon, we talk about his founder journey, how they validated the 3D platform as a business idea, how Alon approaches founder/investor fit and how first-time founders should approach problems with their companies.

Ville Heijari — Opportunities In Mobile Games

In this week’s podcast episode, I’m talking with Ville Heijari, the founder of Original Games, a new mobile games studio with people in St. Petersburg, Helsinki and San Francisco. Ville has been in mobile games ever since his early days at Rovio, when Angry Birds had just been launched. During the last dozen years, he’s accumulated learnings from all sorts of places and has now teamed up with a great team of game developers. In this discussion, we talk about all the learnings from the places Ville has been at and how Original Games is approaching the merge genre with their first game, Merge Inn. And we cover so much more.

Ask Me Anything #6

I just published my sixth Ask Me Anything podcast episode, where I answer people’s questions related to game studios, fundraising, and all other entrepreneurship-related stuff.

Henri Lindgren — Building a hyper-casual studio

In this week’s podcast episode, I’m talking with Henri Lindgren, who is the CEO of Lightneer, a Helsinki based hyper casual developer. The company Lightneer has gone through lots of changes. The company was founded in 2015 to build and publish educational games, raised a bunch of VC money, but then had to pivot away from educational games. Now the company has done a turnaround and is a thriving hyper casual studio. In this discussion with Henri, we talk about pivots, how the company culture changed through the years of change, and what does hyper casual look like in 2021.

Arnd Benninghoff — Better M&A in gaming

I’m talking with Arnd Benninghoff, who is the Executive Vice President of eSports and Games at MTG. MTG is a Swedish-founded strategic acquirer and operator, who’ve built a portfolio of games businesses that have been acquired through this Swedish family model-approach. In this episode, we talk with Arnd about the way that you can effectively bring world-class game studios together and build something big as a group.

Jere Partanen and Erik Gloersen — Investing in early-stage gaming

In this episode, I talk with Jere Partanen and Erik Gloersen from Sisu Game Ventures, an early-stage gaming venture fund. Both Jere and Erik are newcomers to venture capital investing, although both have a background from working with gaming startups. In this discussion, we talk about the competitiveness of early-stage games investing, how a fund like Sisu can win deals and how the partners at Sisu are helping the founders they’ve invested in.

Alon Grinshpoon — Building for the metaverse

I’m talking with Alon Grinshpoon, who is the founder and CEO of Echo, a cloud platform for 3D, AR, and VR assets. After realizing that the metaverse and other platforms were going to become huge, Alon and his brother started the company a few years ago, and now they’ve just raised a VC round for the top gaming investors. In this discussion with Alon, we talk about his founder journey, how they validated the 3D platform as a business idea, how Alon approaches founder/investor fit and how first-time founders should approach problems with their companies.

Ville Heijari — Opportunities In Mobile Games

In this week’s podcast episode, I’m talking with Ville Heijari, the founder of Original Games, a new mobile games studio with people in St. Petersburg, Helsinki and San Francisco. Ville has been in mobile games ever since his early days at Rovio, when Angry Birds had just been launched. During the last dozen years, he’s accumulated learnings from all sorts of places and has now teamed up with a great team of game developers. In this discussion, we talk about all the learnings from the places Ville has been at and how Original Games is approaching the merge genre with their first game, Merge Inn. And we cover so much more.

Ask Me Anything #6

I just published my sixth Ask Me Anything podcast episode, where I answer people’s questions related to game studios, fundraising, and all other entrepreneurship-related stuff.

Henri Lindgren — Building a hyper-casual studio

In this week’s podcast episode, I’m talking with Henri Lindgren, who is the CEO of Lightneer, a Helsinki based hyper casual developer. The company Lightneer has gone through lots of changes. The company was founded in 2015 to build and publish educational games, raised a bunch of VC money, but then had to pivot away from educational games. Now the company has done a turnaround and is a thriving hyper casual studio. In this discussion with Henri, we talk about pivots, how the company culture changed through the years of change, and what does hyper casual look like in 2021.

Arnd Benninghoff — Better M&A in gaming

I’m talking with Arnd Benninghoff, who is the Executive Vice President of eSports and Games at MTG. MTG is a Swedish-founded strategic acquirer and operator, who’ve built a portfolio of games businesses that have been acquired through this Swedish family model-approach. In this episode, we talk with Arnd about the way that you can effectively bring world-class game studios together and build something big as a group.