First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Johan Skott: Thank you so much for asking. We are doing all right! Our team and the families of our team members are also doing ok. We are all working from home during these times and are happy that great communication services, like Discord, are at hand to make it easier!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded NAG Studios.
Johan Skott: Peter Stahl (CEO and Co-founder) and I met during an Antler entrepreneurship cohort at the beginning of the year. And after settling on that we share the same values, have the same drivers, and are looking for the same thing, we started to innovate. We found that our two different backgrounds (Peter building games for almost 20 years, and me as an Esports networker) could be nuclear if we put it together.
We did, and what we knew best was how to build games that people will love to play and stream. So, it came naturally to start a Game Studio.
How does NAG Studios innovate?
Johan Skott: We try to innovate in just about everything we do. We look at a part of building the game, take a step away, and see if there is anything we could do differently to solve the problems we have pinpointed. With this came the idea that we are not just building a game that is meant to be played but also meant to be streamed and watched.
To do this, we work very user-focused and have invited veterans in the field of professional players, streamers, and broadcasters to be with us from day #1. We now have a “Creative Counsel” of almost 20 people who all add different experiences and knowledge to the game-building process; for example, JackFrags and HeatoN.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Johan Skott: We started the studio just as the Coronavirus hit us. As we are in a business that has been coping with it well, we feel incredibly lucky. That we also can run a studio online has been so important for us. We believe our pre-seed round of investment could have been affected in the time it took from start to closing, but as we started talking to investors really early on, it has been a smooth (but nervous) ride so far.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Johan Skott: All choices are difficult in a way. But to stand by our cultural values and make decisions according to them has been important for us to continue on our journey and the best way for us to continue to grow the team. We have learned a lot on this short journey, but to continue to be humble, both at good times and in bad.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Johan Skott: Humbleness and communication are key. To be able to feel that we are in a safe environment together in the team and to be able to show vulnerability to each other has been extremely important for us. Peter and I have gotten to know each other very quickly, and always speaking your mind is a really good way to go through tough times together.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Johan Skott: There are so many game studios out there. And that is because it’s a passion for many to create games for people to enjoy. We have competitors with the same focus as us, and some are even doing parts the same way that we do it, but we haven’t seen anyone yet that does all the things we do at the same time. We see that as something that strengthens our vision and mission when we see someone who has had the same thoughts as we do.
To keep on developing our innovations, and doing this together with our “Creative Counsel” will take us a good part on the way. But to be agile and change accordingly to the end-users will help us stay up to date at all times.
Your final thoughts?
Johan Skott: Now, as final words, I would like to reach out a hand to people that want to look at our studios, see what we do, and that would like to join forces with us. We are always looking to strengthen our team with Humble and Positive Industry Drivers!