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PGC Helsinki Digital: How the Finnish games industry has grown over 25 years

PGC Helsinki Digital: How the Finnish games industry has grown over 25 years

It would be fair to say that the Finnish games industry is lucrative and has produced many great titles through a variety of top developers and publishers over the past 25 years.

At Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital, Neogames director KooPee Hiltunen discussed the state of the Finnish games industry in a "then and now" superstar session.

Over the 25 years that the Finnish games industry has been active, there have been more than 600 companies, the most active year was 2014 with 260 active studios. However, that number has dropped since then. In 2019, the industry broke €2 billion.

"We are not in our teens anymore; we are a mature industry," said Hiltunen.

Mobile focus

The Finnish industry was one of the first to take a keen interest in the mobile space. However, "the mobile side of the Finnish games industry was lame back in those days."

"The beginning of 2000 was a recession for the Finnish games industry," said Hiltunen.

However, come 2004, the country had a big boom in the mobile games market. From 2004 to 2007, the first big mobile game studio acquisitions took place in Finland. When the App Store hit, it propelled the Finnish market forward, as the country had already been developing mobile games and it now had a different outlet to distribute its games.

By 2012, many international investors had put money behind the Finnish games industry.

Super-success

In 2012, Supercell came on to the scene with Clash of Clans, propelling Finland forward, making a major impact in the mobile space.

"The reason behind Supercell's success was it was one of the first to implement a free to play model," said Hiltunen.

"It is the most lucrative studio in Finland and maybe one of the most lucrative in the world."

Of course, in 2009, the world was introduced to Angry Birds, courtesy of Rovio, another hugely successful Finnish games company. Not only was the game a success, but it also spun an entire franchise that has seen multiple successful games, and two big-screen movies that proved to be massive hits.

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital is the best of our Pocket Gamer Connects conference in an online form, with an entire week of talks, meetings, and pitch events taking place from September 14th to the 18th. You can read up on all the tracks taking place throughout the week here.


Staff Writer

A freelance writer based in Berkshire. Besides PG and PCGI she has written as a guides writer, specialising in RPG's and horror.

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