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Setting up game studio in helsinki from scratch

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Practical experience of setting up game studio in Helsinki from scratch

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Setting up game studio in helsinki from scratch

  1. 1. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. Setting up a game studio in Finland Cyril Barrow VP operations - Rovio
  3. 3. From Hardware... Who is Cyril Barrow ? to... Free to Play.... 20 years, leading people, products and processes. Helsinki
  4. 4. Jan 2014 March 2014 Feb 2015 May 2014 Company established 1st employee • GM Full team hired (Producer & AD hired) Team of 17: • 1 GM • 3 Design • 6 Engineers • 2 Admin • 3 art • Producer • AD Moved into the office with 3 employees: • GM • Eng • Tech office manager Helsinki
  5. 5. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. The office
  6. 6. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. - Office for 25 people: 7 500€ / Month - Hot seat in Helsinki: 500 € / pers / Month - Office contract negotiations was hard and slow. - We got an amazingoffice. - Proper internet set up was slow. We ran on 4G for 2 months - Lots of second hand office shops around.
  7. 7. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. The recruitment
  8. 8. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. Relocations needed: - Russian livingin Czech Republic - Ukraine - Canada - Turkey Other nationalities inthe team: - China - UK - France - Bulgaria - India - Efficient and fast visa application - Game industry head hunter -> low yield (high competition) - Hires came from Network, LinkedIn scooting and ads. - Artists were the ardest to find - Attrition: 4 people (20%) during year 1 - Applicants expect to be paid for doing recruitment tests (growingtrend)
  9. 9. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. Expected perks in finland: - Free mobile phone - Phone bill paid by company - Lunch vouchers - Sport vouchers - Home internet - Free drinks/snacks at the office - Game room - Cool office - 9-17 office hours - stock options - Bonus - Growing trend: Recreational creative freedom
  10. 10. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. The services
  11. 11. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. - Law firm - Auditor - Accounting - Pay roll + taxes - Office cleaning Employment tax: 24% on estimatedyearlysalaries.
  12. 12. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. The game(s)
  13. 13. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. - There was a very high hope put on the Helsinki studio - The team had to gain the trust of HQ + project manager - The team had to discover (guess) and adapt to the company’s production frame Recommendations: - set expectations early - acknowledge roles and responsibilities - schedule milestones and reviews - give freedom between milestones - don’t assume all game studios work the same way
  14. 14. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. What did we learn?
  15. 15. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. Fully staffedrun rate (17 people) : 100k€/Month 1st year cost: 850k€ Don’t assume your GM will also be the product owner producer HR manager Get a native office assistant and office tech. Tekes money not that easily available. R&D loan Marketinggrant Young innovative company support
  16. 16. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. What went well
  17. 17. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. - Office setup - Law firm, accounting,Payroll set up - Advertisingjobs is efficient (networkingis better) - We were integratedto the game communityquickly (IGDA) - Our office assistant was helpingthe families tosettle in Finland - We opened our office to the families
  18. 18. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. What was difficult
  19. 19. Rovio © 2016 Confidential. All rights reserved. - Office contract negotiations - Taylor made financial reporting - Internet set up - Find artists,art director and free to play specialist. - Understand the company’s culture - Understand the company’s productionframework - Align roles and responsibilities - Stand the pressure of expectations
  20. 20. Thank you.

Practical experience of setting up game studio in Helsinki from scratch

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