The Avalanche chief creative officer gets the rapid-fire question treatment

FAQ: Christofer Sundberg

[This feature was published in the October 2013 edition of Develop magazine, which is available through your browser and on iPad.]

Who are you and what do you do?
I am Christofer Sundberg, founder and chief creative officer at Avalanche Studios.

What are you working on right now?
The Mad Max game. And another really cool open-world game. And a really cool mobile/tablet game.

What was the first video game or product that you ever worked on in the industry?
I worked on the publishing side of the industry back in 1992, but the first game I worked on was FIFA Soccer. The first title I actually worked on though was Just Cause, as I wrote the original design and got the production team at Eidos excited enough about it to sign our newly founded studio to develop the game.

What was the first video game you ever played, and did you enjoy it?
One of the first games I remember playing was Asterix on the Atari 2600. I didn’t know what to expect as I only had the comic book to refer to, and when it turned out to be a somewhat weird platformer I was disappointed. It actually made me walk out and kick my friend’s neighbours’ basement window in. No, I did not enjoy it.

What was the most recent video game you ever played, and did you enjoy it?
The most recent game I played was The Last of Us and I haven’t finished it yet, but hell yes, I enjoy it. It’s like God crawled into a console. Pure art.

What is your favourite game ever, and for what reason?
The two games that have completely ruined my otherwise quite active social-life are Half-Life and – get a load of this – Conflict: Freespace, played with an MS SideWinder Force Feedback Pro joystick.
How many hours a week do you spend playing video games?
Five-to-six hours, which is far from enough.

What area of the industry needs more ‘investment’?
We need more innovation and focus on creating entertainment rather than funky business models. The cash will come with the success of great games, and not the other way around.

What do you enjoy about the video games industry today?
The possibilities.

What disappoints you about the video games industry today?
Lack of focus and decisiveness. It’s eating the industry alive.

Of all the games you have worked on, which has been your favourite to work on?
Just Cause of course; my baby.

What game that you were not involved with would you most liked to have worked on?

What other video games developer do you most admire?
I’ve always been a huge fan of BioWare. Especially back in the Greg and Ray days. They are true pioneers and my heroes.

What hobbies, collections or interests do you have that are completely unrelated to video games?
Nike AF1’s, Nike Air Jordan Retro’s and cooking. I also have a collection of some really morbid things, including a mummified Dobermann puppy and an eye-prosthesis.

What is your favourite book, movie, TV show and album of all time?
The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Just kidding. Cro-Mags’ front-man John Joseph’s amazing autobiography Evolution of a Cro-Magnon. Movie? Cable Guy. TV show? The Sopranos. Album? Kool G Rap & DJ Polo’s Live & Let Die.

To read our growing collection of FAQ articles, visit our archive

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