Over 1,200 games professionals gather in Helsinki for the 40th Pocket Gamer Connects conference

Publishers, developers, indies and investors gathered to network, recruit and do business at the heart of the mobile games industry

Over 1,200 games professionals gather in Helsinki for the 40th Pocket Gamer Connects conference

The first Pocket Gamer Connects conferences – bringing the industry together under one roof for networking and knowledge sharing – took place in 2014.

Helsinki was the first location we chose to visit after London because of its well-deserved reputation as a hub of gaming innovation and mobile talent.

So it’s fitting that our 40th Pocket Gamer Connects conference took place back in Finland, the spiritual home of gaming. This week’s event welcomed over 1,200 professionals who enjoyed talks, panels, recruitment opportunities and networking events, demonstrating what gives this city its wonderfully collaborative vibe.

Visitors came from over 510 companies drawn from 41 countries, creating another captivating show in Helsinki. Over 150 top speakers from all over the world (representing leading local and global brands such as Digital Turbine, Fingersoft, Housemarque, Jam City, LALIGA, Metacore, Mainframe, Ubisoft Redlynx, DICE/EA Games and many, many more) shared their insights and expertise with attendees.

Over 1,200 attendees gather at the Wanha Satama venue to do business.

This live show took place at the elegant Wanha Satama. Familiar from pre-pandemic Pocket Gamer Connects conferences, this historic building provided a bright and business-like environment for the two-day event on September 12th and 13th.

The showroom was bustling with companies showcasing their goods and services to our attendees. Almost 50 exhibitors were on the show floor (including over 20 indie showcase tables). It was a formidable representation of the games industry, all under one roof.

The Games Factory Talents team on hand in the Careers Zone.

As in all our recent Pocket Gamer Connects conferences, attendees were invited to vote on their favourite showcased game. The Audience Choice Award, sponsored by ByteBrew, was won by SULPHUR by Perfect Random.

The Perfect Random team also bagged first place in the Very Big PC Pitch during the week. The Very Big Indie Pitch mobile edition winner was Boogiz. You can read more about them on PocketGamer.biz next week and enter your own game for future competitions at www.bigindiepitch.com. Once again, Global Game Jam was our official indie partner.

An uplifting place to do business

Steel Media COO Dave Bradley expressed gratitude for the incredible atmosphere at the Helsinki event and the sense of community we’ve all come to expect from the Finnish games industry. “After many years of Pocket Gamer Connects conferences, Helsinki has become a second home,” he writes. “It was wonderful to be back, and gratifying that people travelled from all over Finland and the world to be a part of it."

Suvi Latva of Neogames Finland hosting the Finnish Gaming 3.0 panel.

Dave Bradley continues: “This week’s event had an uplifting vibe as people of all sectors and disciplines met to do business and exchange ideas. Not even Unity’s eyebrow-raising announcement – which came just as we raised glasses of Finnish Long Drink at the Global Connects Party – could dampen spirits.

“This week also saw the IGDA Leadership Summit, parties by Sandsoft, Apprien and others, and many other activities, dinners, mixers, and mayhem take place in Helsinki. Knowing that Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki has become the hub around which the games industry clusters each September is a fantastic feeling. Roll on our 10th-anniversary celebrations in 2024!”

Asad Ehmed, Marjaana Auranen, Charly Harbord and Annakaisa Kultima discussing indigenous and diverse cultures.

It takes a village, and the massive success of PG Connects Helsinki is only possible with the incredible support of our sponsors. Thank you to our gold sponsors adjoe, data.ai, Digital Turbine, Leanplum, Moloco, Nine66, Smadex and Xsolla for all your support in making this event possible. There are also silver, bronze, track and associate sponsors to thank (check out our Helsinki website).

And it wouldn’t have been possible without our phenomenal attendees. Whether you joined us virtually on our meeting platform or in person, thank you for attending and giving Pocket Gamer a warm welcome back to Helsinki. We also want to salute our volunteers and team.

What’s next for PG Connects?

Positive feedback has flooded in, so we know people can’t get enough of the PG Connects experience. Did you miss Helsinki? Don’t stress! Plenty of incredible live event opportunities are lined up just around the corner.

Industry veterans Tommy Palm and Chris James on the Virtual Visions stage.

From November 4th to 5th, we’re returning to the MENA region with PG Connects Jordan on the shore of the Dead Sea. Super Early Bird pricing is still available for this show for a limited time, so if you don’t want to miss participating in this up-and-coming region, head over to PG Connects Jordan and book your ticket now.

You’ll want to whip out your 2024 calendars for our next one! From January 22nd to 23rd, our flagship Connects conference is returning to London. It’s the start of our 10th anniversary year. Yes, ten years of Pocket Gamer Connects! Don’t miss signing up for our biggest event during this celebratory milestone year. We’re featuring all-new track themes and future-gazing business content. Be the earliest of birds, and you can secure your ticket now and save hundreds on a ticket to the hottest games industry event.

You can get involved today

There’s no better place than a Pocket Gamer Connects event to share your knowledge with the games community. We would like to invite renowned producers, developers, executives and leaders in the space to lead a session on a topic they’re passionate about and have expertise in at our upcoming shows. If you think you might be a fit and this sounds like something you’d love to do at our upcoming conferences, complete our speaker submission form or contact charlie.scowen@steelmedianetwork.com directly to discuss this further!

Additionally, maybe you’re looking to put your brand in front of the global mobile games industry? In that case, you can discuss our varied sponsorship opportunities or other ways to get involved with our b2b sales team. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with lisa.bisset@steelmedianetwork.com or chris@steelmedia.co.uk for more details.