The Finnish video games industry consists of more than 250 game houses. These companies develop games especially for mobile devices. More than 20 educational institutions offer education and courses in games. Organizations supporting the games industry include IGDA Finland, Neogames and the Finnish Game Developers Association.
Most Successful Finnish Gaming Companies
The Finnish games industry is generally quite small, which brings both great advantages and a variety of challenges to the games industry. The small size of the sector is still reflected today in the relatively low level of market competition, which offers a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.
On the other hand, due to the lack of international funding, big success stories are also still quite rare. In Finland, it is currently possible to study gaming in more than twenty educational institutions, which promises stronger skills and a better future for the gaming sector.
Finland also has the know-how for the casino market, but so far only a few gaming houses are producing games for it. This is due to Finland’s rather strict legislation on gambling. If the gaming market were liberalized, every new casino on the net (or uusi kasino netissä as the Finns call it) could in future also contain Finnish expertise.
For the time being, however, we can only expect to see Finnish gambling brands in the market. The gaming company with a Finnish background in this field is Relax Gaming. No other well-known casino games companies have so far emerged from the country.
Finnish Gaming Studios On The Rise
Today’s best-known gaming houses in Finland are undoubtedly Supercell, Rovio and RedLynx.
Launched in 2010, Supercell is best known for three games that have also enjoyed international success – Hay Day, Clash of Clans and Boom Beach. These three games, launched in 2015, made Supercell the most profitable mobile game company in the world in 2015.
Born in 2003, Rovio is already an old player in the games industry. It is also the developer of one of the most internationally renowned Finnish video games, Angry Birds. 2009 brought a change in Rovio’s strategy when it decided to focus on developing games specifically for iOS devices.
Angry Birds mobile game ultimately propelled the company to the top of the charts, as within five months of launch it was the most downloaded app on the US App Store.
RedLynx is also a Finnish video game development company best known for its Trials series. Trials has sold more than 6 million copies on PC and mobile platforms. Before its video game success, the company focused mostly on producing TV games for Finnish TV channels. The company was sold to the French company Ubisoft in 2011.
History of Finnish Video Game Industry
The Finnish video game industry has its roots in 1979, when the first ever Finnish video game, Chesmac, was released. This game was very successful nationally, but the Finnish game industry had to wait many long years before a video game was released and successfully distributed internationally.
Most of today’s game studios were founded between 1990 and 2000. These years brought with them a massive IT bubble, during which tens of game houses started to appear on the market. However, the real golden age of game development only began in the turmoil of the 2000s, when digitalisation brought with it new tools to fuel the growth of the Finnish games industry.
Today, Finns are household names in the world of games for a wide range of platforms. The Finnish gaming scene is home to mobile games, platform games and many other entertaining titles.
The Future Of Finnish Gaming Brands
What the Finnish games market will bring remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that Finland has the enthusiasm and the know-how to become one of the world’s leading game developers.