The Finnish Game Industry


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Game industry is the fastest growing branch of the entertainment industry and financially Finland's most significant field of cultural export. Today the industry's global value is nearing USD 100 billion, thanks to mobile gaming especially.

Find out industry stats, key private and public players and much more!

The Finnish Game Industry

  1. 1. THE OLDEST still existing Finnish game companies are turning 20 this year (2015). Although the first commercial Finnish digital game was published already in 1979 and the first globally distributed game in 1986 it’s fair to say that, from the industrial point of view, year 2015 is also the 20th anniversary of the whole Finnish game industry. In twenty years the Finnish game industry has come far from its humble beginnings. However, figures don’t tell the whole story. There are some trends that often are unmentioned, but that are important not just today, but in the future as well. „„ Finland is still a country of game developer enthusiasts. In 2014, for example, the Global Game Jam Finland gathered almost 700 hobbyists to 15 sites to develop games. „„ Finnish game education has been ramping up nicely. In 2015, there are over 20 educational institutions providing game education in all educational levels. „„ Games are recognized as a form of culture in Finland. This recognition has positive affects not only to public perception of games, but also to the attitudes of public sector towards the game industry. „„ Game community is supported by strong industry networks, namely IGDA Finland association, Neogames Finland association and Finnish game developers association (Suomen Pelinkehittäjät). These associations have a crucial role for instance in community building, information sharing and lobbying. Introduction 2
  2. 2. The purpose of this publication is to gi- ve a short overview of the Finnish ga- me industry’s landscape. There is al- so more detailed game industry re- port from this topic and it can be found from Neogames website, www.neoga- We wish to thank everyone who have helped us to realise this report. Special thanks to Suomen Pelinkehittäjät ry (Finnish game developers associati- on), Invest in Finland and Tekes for their support. Team Neogames: KooPee Hiltunen Suvi Latva J-P Kaleva Emma Ronkainen Introduction 3 Grand Cru ● Supernauts Front cover art: Fingersoft • Hill Climb Racing Frogmind • BADLAND Rovio Entertainment • Angry Birds, Angry Birds Epic Supercell • Clash of Clans, Hay Day Two Men and a Dog • Zombie Catchers Back cover art: Cornfox & Bros • Oceanhorn Kukouri • Tiny Troopers/Alliance Remedy • Quantum Break Seriously • Best Fiends Tribeflame • Benji Bananas
  3. 3. First and still existing game companies are founded 1980 1985 1990 1995 First commercial products First internatio- nal game Sanxion First Assembly events 2000 Supreme Snow- boarding First world class mobile studios & mobile hype History The beginning of 80’s home computers & game development as a hobby 4 Rovio ● Angry Birds
  4. 4. First big mobile game studio acqui- sitions 2nd round studio boom 2012-2014 20202015201020052000 51% of Supercell was acquired with $ 1,5 billion by Gung Ho & Softbank (15.10.2013) 2011–2012 Big internatio- nal investments to Finnish Game Companies Changes on business models Facebook games and social gaming Angry Birds Investment recession & The growth of Nokia Digital distribution in PC platform (Steam) Max Payne Habbo hotel HayDay & Clash of Clans Digital mobile distribution expands (Appstore) History F2P mobile 5
  5. 5. StateoftheIndustry Cornfox & Bros ● Oceanhorn6
  6. 6. 260 active game developer studios in the end of 2014 in Finland. The actual number of studios is probably even a little bit higher, as there is no definite method to find all existing studios. Despite of our best efforts, some of the start-up companies may still operate for a couple of years in a deep cover without connections to the rest of the industry. AS AFOREMENTIONED, the oldest still existing Finnish game studios were established 20 years ago in 1995. From administrative perspective there are some companies in the Finnish game industry that are even older than that, but those companies weren’t originally established as game developer studios. Based on a database compiled and updated by Neogames, there were StateoftheIndustry Picture: TicBits ● Concept art 7
  7. 7. IndustryinNutshell traders are usually self-employed individuals and co-operatives are mainly student start-ups. „„ Around 14% of the studios established during last four years are so called "second round startups" meaning that the founders of these studios have previous experience from the game industry. As a conclusion it can be said that the Finnish game industry has experienced a significant start-up boom during last years. There are many reasons for this, the main ones being: „„ An easy access to distribution channels „„ Enhanced development tools „„ More positive attitude towards entrepreneurship BASED ON the interviews and data collected by Neogames Finland association: „„ There is a vast number of startups and young companies in the Finnish games industry. Altogether 179 game studios have been established between 2011 and 2014. Consequently, 69% of the Finnish game studios are less than five years old. On the other hand, the number of studios more than 10 years of age (established 2005 or before) is 17. „„ Years 2012 and 2013 have been most active when it comes to number of studios established. „„ The majority of studios (80%) are limited liability companies. There are also some co-operatives and sole traders, but they are a minority. Sole 8
  8. 8. StudioFoundingYears Supercell ● Boom Beach Finnish game companies, year of establishment [companies still operating] 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2000 1997 1995 6 4 9 9 15 25 31 55 49 44 2 1 3 2 3 2 260 companies in total 9
  9. 9. Locations PlayRaven ● Concept art 18,0% 8,3% 9,8% 25,9% 38,0% 10 Location of the companies
  10. 10. Platforms Housemarque ● Alienation Popularity of the platforms among Finnish game studios 5 4 8 14 13 34 49 40 78 91iOS PC PlayStation Android PC/online Nintendo Windows Mobile Xbox Facebook Oculus Rift 7,3% 4,5% 3,5% 44,5% 30,9% 11,8% 12,7% 82,7% 70,9% 36,4% 85% Mobile platforms 11
  11. 11. Developers&Diversity 12 Small Giant Games ● Oddwings Escape
  12. 12. Developers&Diversity Seriously ● Best Fiends 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 1147 1120 1079 1264 1800 2200 2500 Number of employees in the Finnish game industry 2008–2014 20% women 13
  13. 13. FinancialTransactions Name of the company Type of business Amount Year SERIOUSLY Mobile games $ 5.0million $ 2.7million $ 2.3million 2014 2014 2013 SMALL GIANT GAMES Mobile games $ 3.1million $ 0.8million 2014 2013 TRAPLIGHT Mobile games $ 0.5million 2014 SKILLPIXELS Mobile games $ 2.1million 2014 MINISTRY OF GAMES Mobile games $ 2.2million 2014 FANTASTEC PC online games $ 0.8million 2014 BOOMLAGOON Mobile games $ 3.6million 2014 NEXTGAMES Mobile games $ 6.0million 2014 SINGON Console games $ 2.2million 2014 PLAYRAVEN Mobile games $ 2.3million 2014 Fingersoft ● I Hate Fish14
  14. 14. FinancialTransactions Name of the company Type of business Amount Year SONGHI Multiplatform $ 0.7million $ 2.9million $ 0.8million $ 1.1million 2014 2013 2012 2011 SUPERCELL Mobile games $ 1.5billion $ 130million $ 15.0million 2013 2013 2011 GRAND CRU Mobile games $ 11.0million $ 2.0million 2013 2012 APPLIFIER Game play recording $ 4.0million $ 2.0million 2012 2011 BEIZ Mobile games $ 1.0million 2012 OVELIN PC online games $ 1.4million 2012 ROVIO Multiplatform + licensing $ 42,0million 2011 GREY AREA Mobile games $ 1.9million 2011 Hawina ● Concept art 15
  15. 15. MajorStudioAcquisitions EA Finland ● Simcity BuildIt Name of the company Type of business Acquired by Year PLAYFORIA Multiplatform United Game Studios 2014 APPLIFIER/EVERYPLAY Game recording tech Unity Technologies 2014 FUTUREMARK GAME STUDIOS PC games Rovio 2012 REDLYNX Console, mobile and PC online games Ubisoft 2011 ROCKETPACK PC online games and HTML5 technology Disney 2011 UNIVERSOMO Mobile games THQ 2007 BITBOYS Technology / Engine ATI/AMD 2007 HYBRID GRAPHICS Technology / Engine Nvidia 2007 MR GOODLIVING Mobile games Real Networks 2005 SUMEA Mobile games Digital Chocolate 2004 16
  16. 16. Turnover RedLynx ● Trials Fusion Turnover of the Finnish game industry core [game development] 2008–2014 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 87 87 105 165 250 900 1000< Million € 17
  17. 17. IndustrySupport&Networks Remedy Entertainment ● Quantum Break18
  18. 18. Grand Cru ● Supernauts professional skills of individual game developers based in Finland. „„ Suomen Pelinkehittäjät (Finnish game developers association) serves the interest of game developer studios. The co-operation includes a large variety of activities from jointly organized events to sharing market information. NETWORKS. In Finland, a number of public and private sector organizations co-operate in order to support the development of the Finnish game cluster. „„ Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, is the most important publicly funded expert organization for financing research, development and innovation in the game industry. „„ Invest in Finland is the government agency that promotes foreign investments into Finland. „„ Neogames is a member- based non-profit game industry organization acting as an industry umbrella organization. „„ IGDA Finland promotes the development of careers and 19 IndustrySupport&Networks
  19. 19. FinnishGameDevelopersAssn. Mental Moustache ● Concept art Suomen Pelinkehittäjät (Finnish game developers association) is an amalgamation of game developer studios. The main mission of the association is to act as a guardian of interests for game studios and to advance the political and economic interests of the Finnish game industry. Suomen Pelinkehittäjät works in close co-operation with other industry networks. Suomen Pelinkehittäjät has 60 members including all the major studios in Finland. The members of the association represent about 95% of the turnover and 85% of the employees of the industry. „„ Contact: Elina Arponen, Chair of the Board, 20
  20. 20. FinnishGameDevelopersAssn. Nitro Games ● Raids of Glory 21
  21. 21. Tekes Skene – Games Refueled Tekes’ first programme dedicated to the Finnish game industry „„ Accelerating Finnish game companies and research with EUR 70 million „„ Making Finland the hotspot for game and entertainment industry „„ Focus on game start-ups „„ Project funding varies from tens of thousands to over one million euros „„ Contact: Kari Korhonen, Programme Manager, Skene +35844 246 4673   Tekes – Funding for game business development „„ Finland’s most important public game business and research funder „„ Funding, expertise, foresight, global networks, events, matchmaking „„ Funding for over 100 Finnish game companies since 1996 altogether EUR 70 million „„ Proven impact to attract VC funding „„ Funder of e.g. Supercell, Remedy, Rovio, Housemarque, Seriously, Boomlagoon 22
  22. 22. Tekes 23 Bugbear ● Wreckfest
  23. 23. NeogamesFinland Neogames’ members represent all sectors of the game industry from business to education and research. Neogames is an impartial umbrella association, and we serve the shared interests of all industry players. We do work that benefits everyone, but for which an individual organization may not have the resources. Our services include organizing group trips to international events, coordination of cross-industry development projects, cooperation with ministries and the political sector, organizing domestic networking events, promoting media relations both domestically and internationally, and the production of various surveys and reports related to the Finnish game industry. As the hub of the industry, we are the fastest channel to information and contacts within the Finnish game Neogames Finland is a member- based non-profit game industry organi- zation established in 2003. Our mission is to accelerate, coordinate and sup- port the development of the Finnish game cluster. 24 Two Men and a Dog ● Zombie Catchers
  24. 24. NeogamesFinland Small Giant Games ● Oddwings Escape Emma Ronkainen Assistant Office Manager +358 40 8428 736 industry. If you need to know anything about the Finnish game industry or to meet anyone – please, let us know. We can help. „„ Contact: KooPee Hiltunen Director +358 40 532 4176 Suvi Latva Coordinator +358 40 592 4018 J-P Kaleva Senior Policy Analyst +358 40 716 3640 25
  25. 25. InvestinFinland SongHi Entertainment ● Melody Monsters „„ Contact: Visa Järvinen Senior Advisor +358 50 4867754 26 Invest in Finland is the govern- ment agency that promotes foreign in- vestments into Finland. We assist inter- national companies in finding business opportunities in Finland and provide all the relevant information, guidance and networks required to establish a busi- ness in Finland. When doing business with us, you will always be assisted by sector- specific teams of experts. As well as assistance, these teams provide comprehensive information concerning your sector. Our services are always tailored to meet your precise needs.  
  26. 26. IGDAFinland 27 IGDA (International Game Developers Association) is a worldwide nonprofit professional society for game develo- pers. IGDA is committed to advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers by connecting mem- bers with their peers, promoting pro- fessional development, and advoca- ting on issues that affect the developer community. Mission: The mission of the Finnish chapter, IGDA Finland, is to promote the development of careers and professional skills of individual game developers (and individuals of related industries) based in Finland, and to further develop the international recognition of the Finnish game developer community. Activities: IGDA Finland brings Finnish game industry professionals together in monthly meetings with more than 500 participants spread out to six cities. Everyone is welcome to join our events. „„ Go to to learn more, and come see us! „„ Contact: Jyri Partanen Chair of the Board +358 40 560 4023
  27. 27. Education Grand Cru ● Supernauts „„ Aalto University „„ University of Eastern Finland „„ University of Jyväskylä „„ University of Tampere / Tampere Research Center for Information and Media „„ Centria University of Applied Sciences „„ Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences „„ Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences „„ Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences „„ Kajaani University of Applied Sciences „„ Karelia University of Applied Sciences „„ Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences „„ Lahti University of Applied Sciences „„ Oulu University of Applied Sciences 28
  28. 28. Education „„ Tampere University of Applied Sciences „„ Turku University of Applied Sciences „„ Helsinki Vocational College english „„ Kouvola Region Vocational College „„ Laajasalon opisto „„ North Karelia municipal education and training consortium / Pelitalo, „„ Oulu Vocational College „„ Sataedu 29 Fingersoft ● I Hate Fish
  29. 29. RegionalSupport Kukouri ● Tiny Troopers „„ HELSINKI Otaniemi Marketing, Leigh Eving „„ JOENSUU Joensuu Gamelab, Veikko Miettinen „„ KOTKA Playa/Cursor, Mikko Kähärä „„ KOUVOLA Kinno, Mika Lammi „„ KAJAANI Kajak Games, Kavio Cluster, Kimmo Nikkanen „„ TURKU Turku Sciencepark, Patrik Uhinki „„ TAMPERE Tampere Game Factory, Antti Salomaa „„ JYVÄSKYLÄ Expa, Jonne Harja „„ OULU Oulu Business Kitchen, Heikki Tunkkari 30
  30. 30. RegionalSupport 31 Theory interactive ● Reset