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IndustryVideo games
Founded2009; 12 years ago (2009)
  • Kjell Emanuelsson
  • Jerk Gustafsson
  • Magnus Högdahl
  • Jim Kjellin
  • Fredrik Ljungdahl
  • Jens Matthies
  • Michael Wynne
Key people
ProductsWolfenstein (2014–present)
Number of employees
~50 (2013)
ParentZeniMax Media (2010–present)

MachineGames is a Swedish video game developer based in Uppsala. The studio was founded in 2009 by seven former employees of Starbreeze Studios, including founder Magnus Högdahl. After unsuccessfully pitching game ideas to several publishers, MachineGames agreed with Bethesda Softworks to develop a new instalment in the Wolfenstein series in July 2010, and was acquired by Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media, in November. In the Wolfenstein series, MachineGames developed The New Order (2014), The Old Blood (2015), The New Colossus (2017), Youngblood (2019), and Cyberpilot (2019).


MachineGames' founding team—consisting of Kjell Emanuelsson, Jerk Gustafsson, Magnus Högdahl, Jim Kjellin, Fredrik Ljungdahl, Jens Matthies, and Michael Wynne—was previously employed by Swedish video game company Starbreeze Studios, of which Högdahl was also the founder.[1] By mid-2009, while the team was working on the game Syndicate, Starbreeze had grown to more than 100 employees, and the seven-piece team wanted to start anew.[1][2] All seven left the studio and set up MachineGames in Uppsala, Sweden.[1] An alternative name considered for the company was "Tungsten".[2] Matthies became the company's creative director, while Gustafsson became managing director and executive producer.[1][2] Högdahl and Wynne left shortly thereafter for personal reasons.[2] For the first one-and-a-half years, the MachineGames team brainstormed game ideas and pitched them to various publishers, including Bethesda Softworks, being rejected on all of them.[1][2] Running out of funds, the team considered either selling their homes to finance the studio further or close down the studio entirely.[1]

Around this time, developer id Software and the rights to its Wolfenstein series of games were acquired by Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media.[1] Following this acquisition, Bethesda offered MachineGames to work on one of its intellectual properties, and when Matthies learned that no one was developing a Wolfenstein game at the time, he requested that MachineGames could develop one.[1] Matthies, Gustafsson, and other MachineGames employees visited id Software in Mesquite, Texas, in July 2010 to talk about this prospect.[1] Id Software was already impressed with the team's work while at Starbreeze, and only requested that MachineGames used their id Tech 5 engine for the endeavour.[1] By November, all necessary paperwork for MachineGames to develop a Wolfenstein game was completed, and the studio became a subsidiary of ZeniMax to pursue development on what would later become Wolfenstein: The New Order.[1] With this acquisition, MachineGames changed its legal name to ZeniMax Sweden AB.[3] Following this, MachineGames began hiring new staff, growing to at least 50 people by June 2013.[2] According to Gustafsson, around 70% of the company's employees at the time were transplants from Starbreeze.[2]

MachineGames developed Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) and its prequel, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (2015).[4] In June 2016, they released a free episode for id Software's 1996 game Quake in celebration of the game's twentieth anniversary.[5] At Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, a sequel to The New Order, was announced with a release date of 27 October 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[6] MachineGames developed Wolfenstein: Youngblood, the follow-up to The New Colossus with a focus on co-operative gameplay, and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, a virtual reality game, both released in 2019.[7][8]

On September 21, 2020, Microsoft announced that it had agreed to acquire ZeniMax for US$7.5 billion, with the deal to close by the first half of 2021.[9]

MachineGames announced in January 2021 their next game will be a title based on the Indiana Jones franchise in conjunction with Lucasfilm, with Todd Howard executive producing.[10]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
2014 Wolfenstein: The New Order Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2015 Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2016 Quake: Dimension of the Past Microsoft Windows
2017 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2019 Wolfenstein: Youngblood Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, Xbox One
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
TBA Untitled Indiana Jones game[11] TBA
Wolfenstein III[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Pitts, Russ (15 May 2014). "Making Wolfenstein: A fight club on top of the world". Polygon. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Leone, Matt (14 June 2013). "The team reviving Wolfenstein". Polygon. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  3. ^ McWhertor, Michael (3 November 2010). "Did The House of Fallout Just Buy *Another* Studio?". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  4. ^ Makuch, Eddie (7 May 2013). "Wolfenstein: The New Order revealed". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  5. ^ Meer, Alec (24 June 2016). "Um, There's A New, Official Quake 1 Episode Out". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 2 January 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (12 June 2017). "BJ Blazkowicz is back in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus". Polygon. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  7. ^ Gill, Patrick (12 June 2018). "What do we know about Wolfenstein Youngblood?". Polygon. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  8. ^ McWhertor, Michael (12 August 2018). "Prey and Wolfenstein take two very different approaches in VR spinoffs". Polygon. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  9. ^ Bass, Dina; Schreier, Jason (21 September 2020). "Microsoft to Buy Bethesda for $7.5 Billion to Boost Xbox". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  10. ^ Makuch, Eddie (12 January 2021). "New Indiana Jones Game Coming From Wolfenstein Studio". GameSpot. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  11. ^ Webster, Andrew (12 January 2021). "Bethesda is making an Indiana Jones game". The Verge. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  12. ^ Lanier, Liz (24 September 2018). "Bethesda is Making 'Wolfenstein III,' Not Abandoning Single Player". Variety. Retrieved 19 December 2020.

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