Critical Force wants to fix Finland's game dev shortage with new academy

20 students at Kajaani University will get specialist coaching and feedback

Critical Force wants to fix Finland's game dev shortage with new academy

Critical Ops developer Critical Force is opening an academy for game development students at Kajaani University in Finland to help improve the game development labour shortage in the country.

The training programme will be open to 20 students of the university who will have to pass an interview to be accepted. These students will then receive coaching and feedback from professional developers as they work on multiplayer mobile games.

The very best of the students will be offered paid internships at Critical Force and other developers nearby. Presumably, these students may even be offered full-time jobs if they prove themselves at the intern phase.

The announcement comes after a new report from industry association Neogames claimed it has become increasingly difficult for studios in the country to find and recruit local talent.

18% of employees in the sector are said to have come from abroad, with that number likely to grow.

Grow it local

"As published by Finland's game industry representatives last week, it has been a continuous pain to find experienced and talented game developers. However, we have been lucky in finding great people from abroad, but supporting and hiring talents from the local university is definitely very important to us," said Critical Force CEO Veli-Pekka Piirainen.

"Despite its remote location at some 550 kilometers north of Helsinki, Kajaani is one of Finland's innovation hotbeds for games with many studios and the excellent game development curriculum of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences."

Critical Force also quietly revealed that its flagship game Critical Ops has surpassed 17.5 million downloads.

It had achieved 15 million downloads in March 2017, suggesting it had accrued 2.5 million downloads in one month.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.