European video game pioneers invest €25 million to open Bespoke Pixel, a new AAA studio in Barcelona

Business Investments

10 Jun 2024

Led by the Swede David Polfeldt, the project will create 50 jobs and focus on the development of AAA video games for PCs and consoles.

A group of European pioneers in the video game industry have founded in Barcelona a new studio called Bespoke Pixel. Led by Swede David Polfeldt, former director of Massive Entertainment of the Ubisoft group, the new studio will create 50 new jobs and focus on developing AAA video games for PCs and consoles. In the world of video games, AAA's are equivalent to blockbusters in cinema.

“The talent concentration in Barcelona is incredible, and future access to talent is also assured through a wide range of university training”

David Polfeldt, Founder of Bespoke Pixel

The Barcelona studio, representing an investment of 25 million euros, will take the role of a lead studio. The decision of its founders and the process to establish Bespoke Pixel in Barcelona has counted on the support of the Government through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the agency for business competitiveness belonging to the Ministry for Business and Labour, and Barcelona City Council through Barcelona Activa.

Bespoke Pixel has decided to locate its headquarters in Barcelona to concentrate on the leadership and development of its online-based experiences in the Catalan capital. “We want to establish a studio that creates original projects, with a singular focus on refined, well-designed games”, David Polfeldt explains. He adds that they want “an agile and expert team dedicated to the development of prototypes, harnessing the extensive experience of the Core Team to provide top-level gaming experiences”.

The founding team of Bespoke Pixel chose the Catalan capital out of fifteen European options. “No matter how we looked at it, Barcelona stood out as #1 in a wide range of categories”, Polfeldt assured. “The talent concentrated here is incredible, and future access to talent is also secured through a broad offer of university training”, he added. Furthermore, “Barcelona is already a thriving and dynamic cultural hub” while emphasizing that in the coming years, they want to contribute to the city's ecosystem with a studio that provides leadership in the global video game industry.

Over the last 30 years, David Polfeldt has been one of the most prominent names in the video game industry in Sweden in particular and the European continent in general. Polfeldt has been at the head of the Massive Entertainment studio of the Ubisoft group for 17 years, from where he has produced titles such as “World in Conflict”, “Assassins Creed”, "Far Cry", "Just Dance Now", "Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora" or "Star Wars: Outlaws". The Swedish creator has also advised companies such as Disney and PLAYERUNKNOWN Productions and published the book “The Dream Architects: Adventures in the Video Game Industry” (Grand Central Publishing, 2020).

A sector that surpasses new screens in Catalonia

The video games industry is one of the most emerging sectors of the Catalan economy, featuring outstanding growth in recent years. Catalonia generates 52% of turnover and concentrates 48% of employment in the sector in Spain, according to the 2022 White Paper on video games (.PDF document), published by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

According to the latest analysis carried out by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment in the report "The video games sector in Catalonia", it is a highly innovative sector that congregates over 200 companies, with a turnover of more than 550 million euros and almost 4,000 workers. The sector is mostly concentrated in the Barcelona area, with an important offer of video game training, coding bootcamps, and digital training. It also hosts several international trade fairs and congresses related to the sector.

In addition, it is one of the most prominent sectors in terms of foreign investment. Specifically, 11% of the 112 foreign investment projects captured by the Government through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment in 2023 correspond to the field of video games.

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