Tomas Nordström took helped his team Skellefteå AIK to the top of the Swedish Hockey League, as leader of the supporters club North Power. He’s now turning his love for hockey into a business.
Over the last several months, investors have shown a huge interest for Tomas Nordström and his manager game, World Hockey Manager. He has even had to say no to some of them.
“It has been hard to fathom, it’s a nice problem to have. We have hade the opportunity to pick the investors that we think bring the most to the table”, Tomas Nordström says. He is the CEO of Gold Town Games.
The company was founded in the spring of 2015. Tomas Nordström was finishing up his sports marketing studies in Helsingborg at the time. However, that is not his only connection to the world of sports. He was also chairman of Skellefteå AIK’s supporters club North Power from 2013 to 2014.
“There are a number of football games in this genre, but there are no industry leading hockey games. Manager games and hockey have always been my passion so it’s a dream to combine the best of both worlds in one job”, he says.
He got in touch with Starbreeze- and Funrock-founder Lars Hagelin early on. He had a vast knowledge of the industry and was the first one to come up with the idea for a mobile-based manager game. Since the first meeting, he has invested in the company and gives the executives strategic help.
Tomas Nordström’s friend Jimmie Ericsson, who is also team captain for Skelleftå, was also interested in backing the company early on. He and Tony Mårtensson contributed to Gold Town Games first million in seed funding last summer, which meant that they could start the development of the game.
“We closed another seed round with famous hockey and football players in the fall. The plan was to get as many sports celebrities involved as possible and get them to spread the word on social media”, Tomas Nordström says.
In the third seed round, the company was planning on raising about $440,000. But when the round closed, they had been offered over $1 million. However, the company didn’t take all of the money.
“We just closed the round and settled at $700,000”, Tomas Nordström says.
The money comes from several prominent hockey players, like Martin Lundberg, David Rundblad, Patrik Zackrisson and Jonathan Ericsson. The hockey blogger Johan “Mr Madhawk” Svensson has also invested in the company.
Thomas Nordström is even looking into an IPO already this summer, even though the first game will not reach customer until the fall.
“No decision has been made so far, but we are continuously looking into that as an opportunity. The gaming industry is piping hot right now, and we have a lot of great people, who have made similar journeys with other companies. The company also becomes more attractive to investors if it’s listed”, Tomas Nordström says.
Gold Town Games will soft launch it’s first game this summer and have a bigger release later in the fall.