I had no plans to move across the Atlantic to NYC from Sweden. But while providing a reference for Roger Mattsson to Avalanche Studios, they asked me about my interest in joining. At first, I said no, but then changed my mind and decided to take them up on the offer. It felt like a great adventure and experience. After that, interviews, a work test, and visa were quickly taken care of. As a result, 5 weeks after our first conversation, I arrived in NYC. It was my first time there.
I joined the studio as a multiplayer programmer. To lead the development of the new network tech and multiplayer gameplay in their proprietary open world Apex Engine. We had some nice prototypes up and running in Just Cause 3. But when the game changed focus to single player only, I transitioned to a gameplay tech and leadership role instead. Once the development of Just Cause 4 began, I was promoted to Lead Gameplay Programmer. Allowing me to create and lead some of the early groundwork for that game.
The NYC Studio was run by David Grijns and Roland Lesterlin, two great game developers. I would end up working with them the next seven and a half years, at Avalanche Studios, Defiant Studios and People Can Fly. With Roland, I worked on development and production and with David on management and operations. Above all, they taught me a lot about how to run, manage and lead a game company. More than just great colleagues, I consider them my friends who it’s a pleasure to work with. So, when Roland and David opened up Defiant Studios, it was a natural move for me to join them.