100 million downloads

What happened to Lightneer in 2021 and how did we get here?

Bazooka Boy, Good Slice and Hammer Jump made history in March 2022 by reaching 100 million downloads. What an incredible milestone in Lightneer’s history!

We sat down with CEO Henri Lindgren and COO Teemu Halminen to discuss the key details of what Lightneer has done strategically to transform its business and culture.

To start, let’s rewind a little, as Lightneer’s story began as early as 2015. After working on ed-games for three years, in 2018 Lightneer pioneered a new way of looking at the world of gaming when it started to follow trends in the industry more closely and decided to move its focus to hyper casual games that were on a steady upward trend.

In 2021 Lightneer slightly reoriented their focus to include not only hyper casual games but also hybrid casual games. The move towards hybrids was more of a hunch than a solid fact. “Last year we noticed a trend and a shift in the market towards hybrid casual games. Although it was not yet a mass trend in the world at the time, the risk of this focus was taken and now many game studios are making games specifically for this purpose. It was more of a hunch from a risk perspective, but it paid off” Henri says. As we now know, all the indicators show us the change of direction looks to be a brilliantly intuitive move and a strong part of Lightneer’s growth story.

2021 was Lightneer’s best year yet, with revenues reaching three million and close to one million in profit. The main reason for this incredible performance was the dedication of our teams to updating and optimizing Lightneer’s live games, which led to the phenomenal success of Bazooka Boy and other live ones.

“Our people are epic”

In Lightneer people work in professional yet casual and collaborative teams of 3-4 people. In a small and focused team everyone matters and is essential to the team’s success. There’s a feeling of togetherness, caring and helping each other. In other words, a supporting and warm culture with a growth -oriented mindset in every team.

When CEO Henri Lindgren took the helm at the end of 2020, in addition to changes in business the company also started to make significant changes to its culture. Everything was made more people-centric and team-oriented, Lightneer’s values were defined and self-directed teams were created. The most important thing to understand is that it is the Lightneer teams and people who are behind this 100 million downloads milestone. All the changes made to the company culture and well-being are now bearing fruit. 

One of the most interesting aspects of the culture change was that the work was done virtually entirely remotely. At Lightneer they put a lot of effort into hybrid work which was very successful because there was so much emphasis on culture. When teams are small, team dynamics and internal communication is everything. If you are not face-to-face with your team, the effectiveness of communication is radically reduced. However, Henri feels that this has, above all, strengthened the teams and the way they work, even if it has also been a really big challenge. There’s hardly any turnover in Lightneer’s teams which is a cause for joy, and it’s a sign that the cultural changes are working.

Teemu Haminen pitches in “I strongly believe that a listening corporate culture is behind effective teams, and after many phases over the past year and a half, the focus has been on making decisions as a team, rather than one person dictating everything. We think that if someone has an idea, it should be tested.”

“And we also believe that when teams are self-directed and empowered, this has a direct impact on the rewarding nature of the work, and that their own work is perceived as truly meaningful, which in turn has a clear link to the success of the company” Henri adds.

The company thought of more creative ways to improve team spirit, team well-being and efficiency. A new Quest scheme is now being piloted to reward active teams. Each team has 3 quests which can range from a team meeting in the office to a team dinner to achieving the game’s KPIs. The quests earn achievement points, and when the achievement points are full, the team is rewarded with a Wolt gift card for example. The idea behind this Quest pilot was first and foremost to bring teams together and second to that, reward innovation. As one of Lightneer’s values is playfulness this Quest seemed to be a perfect fit for our company. As a game company, Lightneer is moving to the meta level and gamifying its business, prosperity and innovation as well as culture. And yes, they programmed their own app for this pilot. “We are a gamehouse after all”.

What’s next?

Henri paints the future, saying “We at Lightneer are very interested in self-publishing in addition to our existing great partnerships and some plans have already been made.

Thanks to strategic changes in business operations and our exceptionally talented teams, busy parents now get five minutes quality alone time by slicing fruits for smoothies with Good Slice, businessmen are hammering through the commute and many children find endless joy daily by collecting amazing new weapons and mastering their different and unique qualities with Bazooka Boy. We can’t wait for the next 100 million. 

To be continued.