Regional Game Industry Profile Finland & Helsinki

The Finish Game Industry is comparably well developed. There are 250 game developing companies* in Finland, 104 of them are located in the Helsinki area. Remarkably, the number of employees in the industry is relatively high. In Helsinki almost two thousand employees come up per million inhabitants. This leads to an average size of 21 employees per company, which is the second highest value in the BSR. 9 companies have more than 50 employees, all of them are located in Helsinki. Six companies belong to the top 100 global players. Most importantly, the Finnish Game Industry generates by far the highest revenue out of our focus regions, in absolute and relative terms. On average, each Finnish company achieves revenue of almost 10 m €. However, there are only 30 companies that really generate above 1 m € revenue and therefore create most of the total market share (Neogames, 2016). Indeed, 98% of the turnover is generated by firms located around Helsinki. With three interest and lobby associations and two incubators with a special focus on games, the Finnish Game Industry is rather well supported.

*The year covered is 2016.

Source: Data from Neogames (2016), own figure

Source: Data from Neogames (2016), own figure

Source: Own deduction

Interest/lobby associations 3
Incubators with full focus on games 2
Technical incubators that could in principle harbour game start-ups 1
Revenue 2016: 2,500 m €, 2015: 2,400 m €, 2014: 1,800 m € (source: Neogames (2016))

Additional information

Rapid growth has been one of the main characteristics of the Finnish game industry during the last decade. However, the latest data reveal that the time of hyper growth is over. This is especially clear when looking at the number of studios established in 2016 (16). In previous years (2012–2015) the number of new studios per year has been 30–55. According to Neogames’ statistics, 2016 was also the first year when a number of active Finnish game studios shut down (270 studios in 2015, 250 studios in 2016). At the same time, the number of studios making an over 1m € annual turnover has increased (30).
Some of the studios established during the start-up boom (2011–2015) haven’t been able to stay in business. Some merged, while some others switched trade to more traditional ICT products. The main reasons for the slowdown in 2016 were the intense competition, especially in mobile platforms, and the global war for talents in the industry. The availability of experienced professionals is still one of the biggest obstacles for future growth. Finnish game studios had 280 new open positions in 2017.
Even if the number of studios is smaller than 2015, the number of employees in the Finnish game industry remained nearly unchanged (2017: 2,750; 2015: 2,700) and the number of studios employing more than 50 employees has increased (10).
Overall, the Finnish game industry is doing well. Hyper growth of previous years has turned into a more mature development and quest for stability. The annual growth rate from 2015 to 2016 was 4 %, compared to 33 % from 2014 to 2015. The turnover of the industry in 2016 was slightly higher (+100 m €) than in 2015.

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Status: 01/2019

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