05 January 2023

LiU doctoral student Fredrik Präntare is the architect of the Linköping company Pugstorm, which is achieving global success with the game Core Keeper. "Even back when I was studying for my Master of Science degree, I spent every free hour on my own projects," he says.

A person stands smiling.
Fredrik Präntare, PhD-student at LiU and CEO at Pugstorm. Julius Norrbom

"From studies at Linköping University [….] to a fast-growing game studio that attracts the sharpest skills. Your latest game has attracted gamers in the millions”.

The text above is taken from the citation for the Outstanding Game Studio Award 2022 at the last LiU Game Conference. The award went to the Pugstorm company, which has enjoyed a magnificent year following the release of the first version of the game Core Keeper. The game has sold more than a million copies, been praised by international media and seen Östergötland win new ground in the global gaming market. A screenshot of a computergame. Photo credit Pressbild

"We have a very good base here in Östergötland. Our games are very technology-based, both in rendering and AI, and Linköping University has a very good cutting edge in its courses that we can use, which is a great advantage for us when we recruit personnel," says Fredrik Präntare, founder and CEO of Pugstorm.

He moved to Linköping and LiU from Norrland ten years ago. And here he has remained. After studying for a Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering, he later received a PhD position in computer Science and AI with Professor Fredrik Heinz.

"One area is definitely games, but my doctoral studies are focused on more general problems that can be applied to economics and different types of coordination problems.”

He acknowledges that it can sometimes be difficult to combine the role of CEO with his doctoral studies. Fredrik Präntare is convinced that teamwork is the pathway to success.

"It's not a solo journey, I’d never have managed it without everyone who is and has been involved along the way. I see it as a marathon, taking one thing at a time, and the hard part is being able to keep going for four or five years instead of four or five months.

"I’m really passionate about what I do. But whether it's my work with Pugstorm or my doctoral studies, it doesn't feel like a job. It's just something I love to do.”

Brief facts: Fredrik Präntare

Roles: Doctoral student at LiU in AI and computer science within the research programme WASP (Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program). CEO and founder of the game development company Pugstorm, which is responsible for games such as Core Keeper and Radical Rabbit Stew.
Education: Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering at LiU, 2012–2017.
Other information: Winner of the Lilla Polhemspriset award in 2018 for best degree project. Visiting Researcher at Stanford University in 2020.

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