Arctic Game Dev 2023

22-24 November in Umeå, in partnership with
Global Top Round

Welcome to a three-day event filled with sharing knowledge, networking and game pitches

Welcome to Arctic Game Dev Umeå 2023 – an event dedicated to empowering our regional game development community. As the first of its kind in Umeå, our mission is clear: to provide valuable knowledge, foster new connections, and offer a platform for studios to pitch their games to potential investors.

Umeå and the northern region boasts a vibrant game development community, yet there have been few events tailored to our studios. Arctic Game Dev Umeå 2023 changes that by offering a friendly, ‘pay it forward’ culture where learning and collaboration thrive.

Join us from November 22-24 for engaging panel discussions, in-depth talks, workshops, and the thrilling GTR Game Pitch Competition. Whether you’re seeking knowledge, networking opportunities, or a chance to share your expertise, Arctic Game Dev Umeå 2023 is your gateway to connect, learn, and grow.

What to Expect:

During this three-day event, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities, including:

  • Panel Discussion
  • In-Depth Talks Covering Various Development Disciplines
  • GTR Workshops
  • The Thrilling GTR Game Pitch Competition
  • Female Meetup
  • Social activities: Networking Dinner (tickets sold separately) and After Work

Arctic Game Dev Umeå 2023 is your gateway to connect, learn, and collaborate within the dynamic world of game development. Join us from November 22-24!

Global Top Round

GTR Workshop and Pitch

The GTR pitch is an event hosted by GTR (Global Top Round) that takes place on 23-24th November in Umeå during Arctic Game Dev 2023. The pitch session is a public event for everyone who attends Arctic Game Dev. The event is for game studios to learn and an opportunity to network with publishers and investors within the games industry all over the world. You can submit your game until November 5th 2023.

GTR will select up to 15 studios to pitch at the event.

Participants need only bring their game idea or concept; there’s no requirement for a vertical slice or demo, but a pitch deck is essential.

The GTR Workshop and Education Day on Thursday 23/11 includes:
• In-depth knowledge on how to scale gaming startups.
• How to create a pitch deck to find publishers and investors.
• Benefits of Publishing vs Self-Publishing.
• How to plan Milestones for Grants, Publishers & Project Financiers.


Jane Skullman

Executive Producer

Star Stable

A Love Story – 12 years later
This is the story of a bold concept targeting a niche market, attracting over 21 million players across 180 countries in 12 years. Join us on a journey from a dream to create a game that made a difference for underrepresented female gamers. Today, that dream is a thriving reality.
Jane Skullman is the Executive Producer for Star Stable Online and has a passion for games, tech, and making the impossible possible. 7 years in games and +20 in product development.

Guido Schmidt

Design Manager/Meta Game Lead


There are only 2 ways of working
This talk takes you behind the scenes of industry project planning, where we’ll discover why early planning during the proof-of-concept phase can be a major buzzkill. Join us for a rollercoaster ride through the impact of a predictive work environment on gameplay, pipelines, and team dynamics. We’ll compare predictive and adaptive approaches while uncovering how a predictive process can rain on the creative parade.
Guido Schmidt spent over 20 years in the game industry and worked for companies like Ubisoft, Paradox Interactive and Remedy.

Kristina Knaving

Senior Researchher


Generative AI:s role in gaming development and society
Generative AI, including ChatGPT and DALL-E, has revolutionized our perspective on AI’s creative abilities. Kristina will discuss its impact on gaming, creative sectors, and society, addressing both its potential benefits and ethical concerns.
Kristina Knaving, a senior researcher at RISE, leads the “The Connected Individual” focus area. With a background in human-computer interaction and visualization, she explores the implications of personal data, AI, and their societal impact.

Christopher Brändström

Concept Artist and Designer


Creativity on demand
This talk delves into the process of crafting content that pushes the boundaries of what you’ve seen before in film and games, offering valuable insights for artists and enthusiasts.
Christopher Brändström brings nearly two decades of experience, collaborating with esteemed movie and game companies such as Industrial Light and Magic, Marvel/Disney, Dice, and Epic Games. His extensive career spans a rich tapestry of creative contributions to the industry.

Martin Sahlin

Creative Director

Windup Games

It’s the little things
In this session, Martin will delve into the art of breathing life into game worlds, demonstrating how using small means and attention to detail can come together to shape unforgettable and relatable gaming experiences.
With a remarkable journey spanning nearly two decades in the gaming industry, Martin has made significant contributions that have left an indelible mark on the world of gaming with the Unravel series.

Emil Darsbo

Co-Founder & CEO

5 Fortress

Assemble an indie studio with AAA Ambitions
What is the real life of an indie? This is the transparent history of 5 Fortress journey so far, the steppingstones, struggles and the keys of how they have progressed.
Emil, a co-founder of Boden Game Camp and the Games Industry in the North, boasts over a decade of experience in startup leadership, organizational strategy, and management.

Networking Dinner @ Rex 23/11

As the pixels settle from a day of innovative talks, extend the excitement into the evening with good food, great company, and even better opportunities. The networking dinner will be held at Rex Restaurant, Thursday 23/11 @ 18:00.
Mingle with the brightest minds in game development. Whether you’re looking to expand your professional network, find collaborators for your next project, or simply share your passion for gaming with like-minded enthusiasts, this dinner is where you need to be. 

Female Meetup

This is the gathering of women, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ people engaged in the games industry, as well as those who aspires to be part of it! The event aims to contribute to a vibrant and inclusive games community while strengthening connections for both newcomers and veterans.

18:00: Mingle and pre drinks
18:30 Dinner is served
19:30 Coffee, dessert and panel discussions. Topic of the panel: “All roads leads to games industry! Dare to pave your own way.” Moderated by Marie Daniel, Amplifier
21:00 Thank you for tonight! After party is one floor down w/ Networking Dinner

Free of charge thanks to our friends at Turborilla and Simplygon!
Read more and register HERE

Partners & Sponsors

Invest in Skåne
Uminova Expression
Aurora Punks
Visual Magic
Mind Detonator
Lazad Invest
Arctic Game

The Event Schedule

Please note: The full updated program schedule will be published at a later date.
Stay tuned for more details!

22nd of November, Opening day

08:30 Doors open, badge pickup
09:00 Coffee/networking
09:30 Arctic Game Dev Umeå Opening
09:45 Panel discussion, moderator Maria Olofsson
11:00 Short break
11:10 Kristina Knaving, RISE, Generative AI:s role in gaming development and society (Loke)
12:00 Lunch & networking
13:00 Emil Darsbo, 5 Fortress, Assemble an indie studio with AAA Ambitions (Loke)
Jane Skullman, Star Stable, A Love Story – 12 years later (Miklagård)
13:45 Speechless,  The voice-over platform for game developers (Loke)
14:00 Christopher Brändström, Freelance Concept Artist, Creativity on demand (Miklagård)
14:45 Break, coffee and networking
15:00 Guido Schmidt, Remedy, There are only 2 ways of working (Loke)
16:00 Martin Sahlin, Windup Games, It’s the little things (Miklagård)

23rd of November – Education day

09.00 Morning coffee/ networking
09.30 Umeå / Arctic Game introduction
10.00 Game investment Landscape & Strategy – Pontus Mähler
10.45 Robert Bäckström, Aurora Punks
11.30 Lunch & networking
12.45 Beta testing on Low budget, Malin Hellström, Bright Gambit
13.30 Henrik Jonsson, Radgivery
14.15 Small break
14.30 Andreea Chifu, Bright Gambit/ Xbox
15.15 Speaker TBA
16.00 Small break
16.15 Publishing panel
17.00 Closing remarks
18.00 Female Meetup @Rex (Separate registration required)
Networking dinner (Tickets are available for purchase)


 24th of November – Pitching day

09.00 Morning coffee/ networking
09.30 Pitching session part 1
11.30 Lunch & networking
13.00 Pitching session part 2
15.00 Voting
16.00 Prize announcements
17.00  Closing remarks

Global Top Round

Global Top Round

GTR(Global Top Round) envisions building a global ecosystem to support early-stage game studios, providing “creative and sustainable futures.” GTR is an interactive accelerator and creative global publishing platform dedicated to supporting small studios from all over the world with the development, publishing, and fundraising expertise necessary to take their content global and make business sustainable. GTR provides a tangible 6+ month acceleration program, directly invests in annual Top10 studios and leads follow-up investment rounds for growth.

GTR has invested in 64 studios in 34 countries. They have successfully executed deals up to 7-digits in project funding with 505 Games, Focus Entertainment, Gearbox Publishing, HandyGames as well as some currently unannounced. GTR has raised USD 42M in the past 3 years.

Program Benefits:

  • Access to direct investments of up to $ 400,000 per studio from GTR and its Angel Club.
  • Funding strategy support and follow-on investment opportunities via GTR partner VCs and Gaming Companies
  • Direct access to GTR Global Publisher Partner network and top-tier influencers

Overall business strategy support to grow into a sustainable/ successful company 

Arctic Game

The cluster of Arctic Game is working to create a strategic platform for the game industry in northern Sweden; with business development, investment support, game educations and events to build a strong games community. We are creating an opportunity for studios to grow and give individuals the chance to enter the industry.

In this area there are about 75 game companies and studios, about 500 professionals working in this industry and 16 game educations at university and higher vocational educations.
For more information, visit

Conference Location


Umeå Folkets Hus, Skolgatan 59, 903 29 Umeå

Umeå Folkets Hus is a community center, located in central Umeå near the Vasaplan bus terminal.
For questions regarding sponsorship or general enquiries, please contact: