Grin (company)

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TypePrivately held company
IndustryVideo games
SuccessorOverkill Software
Key people
Bo Andersson
Ulf Andersson
ProductsGhost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
Bionic Commando
Bionic Commando Rearmed

Grin was a video game developer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded by Bo and Ulf Andersson in 1997, Grin worked on numerous titles for the PC, consoles and arcade. The company became defunct in 2009, and its founders went on to create Overkill Software.


After Grin's first release Ballistics (PC, arcade), Grin released the critically acclaimed Bandits: Phoenix Rising (PC) and several arcade machines, as well as military and civilian simulators. Grin went on to develop two games for Ubisoft, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (PC) and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (PC). Bionic Commando Rearmed (downloadable via Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, PC), Bionic Commando (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC), Wanted: Weapons of Fate (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) and Terminator Salvation were the last titles, released in 2008-2009.[1] In 2007, Grin expanded into offices on the Barcelona, Spain beach front, in the Torre Mapfre skyscraper, followed by another studio in the center of Gothenburg, Sweden, along with the Grin Jakarta QA studio, located in the center of Jakarta, Indonesia. 250 people in total were developing games for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Grin began preproduction work on a Final Fantasy spin-off game, Fortress, in the second half of 2008 when Square Enix outsourced it to the Swedish developer.[2] The development team, based in Stockholm, began creating concept art, 3D models and a game engine, thinking of Fortress as a "game with an epic scale both in story and production values".[3] In addition to original characters and locations, concept art for the game depicted Ashe and a Judge character from Final Fantasy XII,[4][5] and chocobos and other recurring creatures of the series.[3][4] The score was also being produced.[6] However, after six months of development, Square Enix reclaimed the project without paying Grin, due to concerns over the quality of the work.[2][7] Grin co-founders Ulf and Bo Andersson claimed that "Square Enix had already made up its mind that Fortress wasn't a project it wanted anymore".[8] Square Enix's withdrawal left the Swedish developer in financial difficulty and with no other ongoing game project.[2]

In 2009, Grin closed its offices in Barcelona and Gothenburg, citing financial difficulties.[9][10] On August 12, 2009 Grin filed for bankruptcy. Later the same day, the official Grin site published the news that the company was closing down.[11][12] Grin noted that delayed payments from "too many publishers" caused "an unbearable cashflow situation" and mentioning in a farewell note their "unreleased masterpiece that [they] weren't allowed to finish".[2][13]

Former members of Grin formed a new development studio, Might and Delight, which focuses on small, downloadable games.[14] Together with the owners of Fatshark, the former lead engineers of Grin started middleware developer Bitsquid, which was later bought by Autodesk.[15] Former quality assurance members formed a separate studio called Trinity QA Studio in June 2010.[16] Bo and Ulf Andersson (along with their friend Simon Viklund) went on to form Overkill Software. Bertil Hörberg, who worked on both Bionic Commando and Bionic Commando Rearmed, went on to form Hörberg Productions, a one-man studio responsible for the well-received Gunman Clive (Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android, Steam) and its sequel Gunman Clive 2 (3DS, Steam).[17] The games were bundled together as Gunman Clive HD Collection for Wii U and Nintendo Switch.

Games developed[edit]

Release date Titles Genre Platform(s)
2001 Ballistics Racing Microsoft Windows, Arcade
2003 Bandits: Phoenix Rising Vehicular combat Microsoft Windows
2006 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Tactical shooter Microsoft Windows
2007 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Tactical shooter Microsoft Windows
2008 Bionic Commando Rearmed Platformer Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade
2009 Wanted: Weapons of Fate Third-person shooter Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2009 Bionic Commando Action, platformer Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2009 Terminator Salvation Third-person shooter, action Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Cancelled Fortress (codename) Action-adventure PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Cancelled Unnamed Strider reboot[18] Action game Unknown
Cancelled Unnamed Streets of Rage remake[18] Beat'em-up Unknown
Cancelled Cult (codename) Third-person shooter, action Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Cancelled Vultures Hack-and-slash Xbox


  1. ^ "Something to GRIN About". Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  2. ^ a b c d "GRIN's Final Fantasy spin-off still in development". September 21, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Albihn, Björn (September 7, 2009). "Björn Albihn - Character Artist". Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Hellstedt, Joakim (September 9, 2009). "Online Portfolio of Joakim Hellstedt". Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  5. ^ Holmsten, Tony; Bergquist, Martin (August 20, 2009). "Concept Art". Visual Development. Archived from the original on September 14, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  6. ^ Thunberg, Erik (January 18, 2010). "". Archived from the original on April 8, 2005. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  7. ^ Dustin, Quillen (August 20, 2009). "GRIN Was Working on an Unannounced Final Fantasy Project". Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  8. ^ Christopher Grant (May 29, 2011). "GRIN founders say Square Enix turned their smiles upside down". Joystiq. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Remo, Chris (August 11, 2009). "Report: Developer GRIN Sees More Layoffs, Studio Closures". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  10. ^ "Report: Bionic Commando Developer GRIN Sees Major Layoffs". Gamasutra. May 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  11. ^ Breckon, Nick (August 12, 2009). "GRIN Officially Closes, Former Devs Found New Studio". Shacknews. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  12. ^ McWhertor, Michael (August 13, 2009). "GRIN Is Officially Dead, Spawns Outbreak". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  13. ^ Alexander, Leigh (August 12, 2009). "Swedish Developer GRIN To Close Its Doors". Gamasutra. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  14. ^ "Bionic Commando Rearmed Devs Reunite". IGN. April 16, 2010.
  15. ^ "Bitsquid homepage". BitSquid. June 3, 2010. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010.
  16. ^ Remo, Chris (June 29, 2010). "Former GRIN QA Team Reforms As Trinity QA Studio". Gamasutra. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  17. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (January 29, 2013). "Developer Interview: Bertil Hörberg On Being a One Man eShop Developer". Nintendo Life. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Bionic Commando dev Grin worked on Strider reboot, Streets of Rage remake • News •

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