“THE OLDEST” still existing Finnish game companies are turning 20 this year (2015)
According to a report from 2015, 179 game studios have been established between 2011 and 2014 and 69% of the Finnish game studios are less than five years old. Turnover has been growing steadily with the industry hitting a $1 billion mark in 2014, a relatively moderate increase from 2013, but a significant one compared to $250 million in 2012.
“Downsized Nokia’s revenue was over €10B in 2014 which is still over five times of that the whole Finnish gaming industry’s €1.8B. Even though the industry’s growth rates are still very good – over 40% a year – and new market opportunities (VR / AR) are providing ground for new companies, the industry still has a long journey to make a significant impact to the GDP,” said Ville Kivisto, CEO of Finnish game developer Mindfield Games.
Good Start To The Year 2016
The local gaming industry started the new year with some good news for those who look to gaming as the savior of the Finnish economy. In January Microsoft bought Teachergaming’s Minecraftedu, an educational game, and in the same month Helsinki-based NextGames raised $10 million in funding.
In 2015, Helsinki based gaming startup Everywear Games, a leading smartwatch game developer, raised half a million euros from Lifeline Ventures and another $2.25 million in September from Silicon Valley based True Ventures. The team consists of former executives from Remedy, Digital Chocolate and Rovio.
Aki Järvilehto, the CEO of Everywear Games, believes that Finns can dominate the gaming industry.
“Finland has turned into a unique hub of mobile free-to-play expertise and our games industry takes pride in supportive approach for knowledge sharing. The growth in gaming has accelerated by every metric in the past few years, but that’s just the beginning of the story. With such a foundation and critical mass of talent pool Finland is now poised to lead in new emerging platforms like wearables, VR and AR.”
“Throw together a bunch of talented ex-Nokia engineers that Finland had and what you get is great games… Also, it gets so cold and dark in the winter that what else would you do, but huddle indoors and make games?,” said Lauri Jarvilehto, CEO of new education gaming startup Lightneer.