Valheim’s explosive success was built from little to no income

The Viking survival game, Valheim, came in by storm when it launched on Steam Early Access last month on February 2. The game generally received critical praise from both users and the media, and it’s one of the most popular games right now on Steam.

Valheim is the first game released by Swedish game studio Iron Gate. The studio is headed by Richard Svensson, a former lead programmer at Pieces Interactive. He worked on the PC version of Puzzlegeddon in 2008 and eventually left the company in February 2018 when it was being acquired by THQ Nordic.

After he left Pieces Interactive, Svensson started working on a video-game idea he had in his mind ever since — and that was Valheim. During the development process of the game, Svensson didn’t have any income.

Valheim | Iron Gate Studio

According to an editorial feature on EDGE #357, Henrik Törnqvist said “Richard started working on Valheim, without any income, basically full time.” Törnqvist is a former colleague of Svensson who eventually joined the development of the game in late 2018. The pair founded Iron Gate Studio in April 2019.

The pair managed to get a publishing deal with Coffee Stain not too long after the formation of Iron Gate Studio. Sebastian Badylak, one of Coffee Stain Publishing’s scouts, is currently the executive producer of Valheim. “We never expected it to blow up like this,” according to Badylak. “This was an order of magniture higher than we anticipated.”

The Steam Wishlist numbers grew “steadily” but weren’t indicative of the game’s future success. However, on February 2, the game’s launch on Steam Early Access, the number of players “exploded”, almost instantly according to Törnqvist.

Valheim was able to secure 5 million sales within a month, and it’s one of the most played games on Steam. So if you’re eager to get into the world of Valheim, by Thor’s name, get the game now!

Valheim is now available on PC via Steam on Early Access for only USD $19.99.