The Maxis Label of Electronic Arts have opened a new studio in Helsinki which will focus on delivering new games for The Sims franchise on mobile devices. “We feel that the talent base in Finland will be a strong complement to our existing mobile expertise based around the world,” says Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of Maxis.
The studio in Helsinki is currently recruiting staff. “The Sims franchise continues to find strong audiences across all platforms and the team we are building in Helsinki will be tasked to maintain our tradition of being some of the most creative game developers on any platform,” says Bradshaw.
Speaking recently about the Finnish gaming scene on Yle Aamu-tv, Ilkka Paananen, CEO of the Finnish game developer Supercell, noted that people in the United States often wonder how Finland can produce so many good games. The Finnish gaming industry has proved that it can create hit games consistently, with companies like Remedy Entertainment, Sulake, Frozenbyte, Bugbear Entertainment and now Rovio leading the way.
The Finnish gaming industry is growing fast and is now the biggest cultural export of the country. The total revenue from the gaming industry was EUR 165 million in 2011. More than 90% of the game production is directed to the export market. According to Paananen, the growth of the industry is held back by a shortage of workers who are in high demand.