Coffee Stain Studios
Logo in use since 2016
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Anton Westbergh (CEO)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Coffee Stain Holding|
Coffee Stain Studios AB is a Swedish video game developer based in Skövde, founded in 2010 by nine University of Skövde students. The company is best known for their game Goat Simulator, which was released in April 2014. Their parent holding company, Coffee Stain Holding, operates Coffee Stain Publishing, a publisher, and majority-owns developers Coffee Stain North (formerly Gone North Games) and Lavapotion. In November 2018, the Coffee Stain group was acquired by THQ Nordic.
Coffee Stain Studios was founded in Skövde in 2010 by Anton Westbergh, Johannes Aspeby, Mikael Mård, Oscar Jilsén, Gustaf Tivander, Daniel Lundwall, Markus Rännare, Joakim Sjöö and Stefan Hanna, nine friends and students at the University of Skövde. Their first game, I Love Strawberries, was released at the end of that year for iOS by Atari.
In 2011, Coffee Stain participated in "Make Something Unreal", a modding competition for Unreal Tournament 3 held by Epic Games and Intel, with their mod, Sanctum. The mod was received well, leading Coffee Stain to adpot the Unreal Development Kit to develop Sanctum into a standalone game. In March that year, the company struck a five-year licensing agreement with Epic for their Unreal Engine 3 technology. Sanctum as a standalone game was released in April 2011, and was followed by a sequel, Sanctum 2, in May 2013. In February 2014, Coffee Stain acquired the rights for I Love Strawberries from Atari and re-released the game for iOS with some improvements.
Coffee Stain gained significant recognition with their April 2014 release of Goat Simulator. While the title received mixed critical reviews, as it was released in a purposely buggy state to take advantage of its ragdoll physics, it became highly successful through Let's Play videos and live streamers. By August 2014, Goat Simulator had outperformed all sales of the studio's previous games combined, and had generated over US$12 million in revenue by March 2016.
On 23 February 2017, Coffee Stain announced Coffee Stain Publishing, a subsidiary that would act as the publishing entity within the Coffee Stain group. The first title to be released through Coffee Stain Publishing will be Huntdown by Swedish development team Easy Trigger Games. The following day, Coffee Stain acquired a minority stake in Danish developer Ghost Ship Games, becoming the publisher of their upcoming game, Deep Rock Galactic. In April 2017, Coffee Stain also invested in newly founded, Gothenburg-based studio Lavapotion, gaining a minority stake. In July 2017, Daniel Kaplan, the first employee of Swedish developer Mojang, left Mojang to join Coffee Stain Publishing.
On 30 January 2018, Coffee Stain announced "Levelling the Playing Field", a funding initiative aimed at small companies that employ at least as many women as men and require at most 1 million kr (about $127,000) in funding. Through this initiative, Coffee Stain invested in Danish developer Other Tales Interactive in exchange for a minority stake. The following day, Coffee Stain acquired a majority stake in Gone North Games, a Swedish developer that had developed Coffee Stain-published A Story About My Uncle and downloadable content for Goat Simulator. With the acquisition, Gone North Games was rebranded as Coffee Stain North.
On 14 November 2018, Coffee Stain and its intellectual property were acquired in full by THQ Nordic for 317 million kr (about $34.9 million), with the potential of additional payouts should they reach certain milestones. Coffee Stain is set to continue operating independently within the THQ Nordic group, with Coffee Stain co-founder Westbergh remaining chief executive officer. At the time, the Coffee Stain group had 45 employees.
- Coffee Stain Holding
|2010||I Love Strawberries||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Coffee Stain Studios||Atari|
|2011||Sanctum||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Coffee Stain Studios|
|2013||Super Sanctum TD||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|A Story About My Uncle||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Gone North Games||Coffee Stain Studios|
|2016||The Westport Independent||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Double Zero One Zero|
|2018||Puppet Fever (early access)||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Coastalbyte Games||Coffee Stain Publishing|
|2019||Deep Rock Galactic||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||No||Ghost Ship Games|
|Huntdown||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Easy Trigger Games|
|Satisfactory||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Coffee Stain Studios|
- "THQ Nordic AB (publ) acquires Coffee Stain" (PDF). THQ Nordic. 14 November 2018.
- Carmichael, Stephanie (28 February 2014). "Week in Mobile: Why one developer brought its first game back to iOS". GameZone.
- Hillier, Brenna (23 March 2011). "Make Something Unreal darlings sign commercial UE3 deal". VG247.
- IGN Staff (23 March 2011). "Coffee Stain Studios Signs Five-Year Exclusive UE3 Licensing Agreement". IGN.
- Cook, Dave (16 May 2013). "Sanctum 2 launch trailer is go, game out now on XBLA, Steam". VG247.
- Lien, Tracy (12 August 2014). "A game about a goat has sold almost one million copies". Polygon.
- Wawro, Alex (15 March 2016). "Devs share real talk about surviving the latest 'indiepocalypse'". Gamasutra.
- Pearson, Dan (23 February 2017). "Coffee Stain Studios becomes a publisher". GamesIndustry.biz.
- Sinclair, Brendan (24 February 2017). "Coffee Stain invests in Ghost Ship Games". GamesIndustry.biz.
- Pearson, Dan (6 April 2017). "Coffee Stain invests in new Gothenberg studio Lavapotion". GamesIndustry.biz.
- Handrahan, Matthew (27 July 2017). "Daniel Kaplan leaves Mojang for Coffee Stain". GamesIndustry.biz.
- Kerr, Chris (30 January 2018). "Coffee Stain launches funding initiative to promote gender equality". Gamasutra.
- Kerr, Chris (31 January 2018). "Coffee Stain acquires and rebrands Gone North Games". Gamasutra.
- Kerr, Chris (14 November 2018). "THQ Nordic acquires Coffee Stain and Bugbear Entertainment". Gamasutra.