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PGC Helsinki Digital: Plotting a path in interesting times

PGC Helsinki Digital: Plotting a path in interesting times

The games industry has seen some interesting times this year, mainly thanks to the unforeseen coronavirus sweeping the planet.

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital, Paladin Studios CEO Kay Gruenwoldt discussed how the company was plotting a path in interesting times. It serves as a follow up to the exec's talk from Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019

Changes

Last year, the company had 60 members of staff. However, that number has dropped to 35 in 2020.

"In December, we saw that the big project was due to end in February," said Gruenwoldt.

As a result of the console project ending, the company was forced to scale down as it did not have another console project to work on - although Paladin is now hiring more members of staff.

In 2019, the company worked onsite as "remote working was not really an option." However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Paladin was forced to adapt and adopt a work from home culture.

Naturally, given the nature of the virus, many high profile industry events were cancelled, making networking and pitching that bit harder for developers. Moreover, Gruenwoldt explained that there was a lot of fear and anxiety. But looking at the positives, many people were playing games.

Viral impact

In March, there was almost a 50 per cent increase in the US for people playing games, with 40 and 30 per cent in France and the UK respectively. Furthermore, app downloads went through the roof.

However, as explained by Gruenwoldt, the pandemic has not just produced positive changes; there have been plenty of negative too.

"The actual transition over the first couple of weeks was okay. But one of the reasons this is not just good news is that new challenges keep coming up," said Gruenwoldt.

Moreover, the market could drop further down the line as the virus restrictions begin to wear off. Not only that, but the acquisition of businesses is getting more challenging too.

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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