We would be lying if we said we didn't see this one coming. Swedish indie outfits Image & Form (SteamWorld Dig 2, SteamWorld Heist) and Zoink Games (Stick it to the Man, Fe, Zombie Vikings) have joined forces as Thunderful. The two studios have been co-operating for years, often showing their games in joint booths at events like PAX and GDC, and they shared a common investor in Nordic Nintendo distributor Bergsala. The plan is now to move together into a joint office in 2018 and to reap the benefits of synergies between the two studios. The new company is owned by Bergsala, Klaus Lyngeled and Brjann Sigurgeirsson.
"We already work together on a daily basis in PR, marketing, intelligence and publishing," says Brjann Sigurgeirsson, CEO of Image & Form and CEO of Thunderful. "Image & Form and Zoink will continue to produce games like we always do, but we're now formalizing our close relationship. Through Thunderful we can share resources more effectively, officially act together and launch bigger, more ambitious game projects. We're becoming a real powerhouse."
"Brjann and I already exchange very much information, so this development is natural," says Klaus Lyngeled, CEO of Zoink and Chief Creative Officer of Thunderful. "With a group of close to 50 people we'll grow our clout both nationally and internationally."
The new company also released some interesting numbers. Their games have amassed sales of more than 2 million copies to date (16 released titles) and more than 6 million downloads (both companies have done their fair share of mobile releases). And rather shockingly there are 9 projects under way at the new studio (presumably this includes ports), including Zoink's upcoming Fe (releases February 16) and Flipping Death. Image & Form are gearing up to release the original SteamWorld Dig on Switch on February 1st. The company currently employs 46 people and it makes it one of the largest studios in Sweden's second largest city, Gothenburg.