Finnish games attract the Chinese market

Rovio and Supercell have enjoyed enormous popularity in China and have thus paved the way for other Finnish game studios.

In 2012, China became Rovio’s biggest market measured in daily users. The last couple of years Chinese companies have been increasingly interested in bringing new Finnish games to the Chinese market.

“Chinese investors know that the capability and innovation offered by the Finnish gaming industry is very good,” says Liu Heng, the secretary general of Hangzhou Animation Comic and Game Association.

Heng was one of the speakers at the networking event for Chinese and Finnish gaming companies organised in Helsinki on 28 August. The event follows the success of the Finnish gaming delegation to ChinaJoy organised two years in a row by Invest in Finland China team, together with Neogames. Neogames is a non-profit umbrella organisation that aims to accelerate, coordinate and support the development of Finnish gaming industry.

“Because of the marriage between Tencent and Supercell, Finland was ranked the third overseas M&A destination for Chinese companies in the first half of 2016,” says Zhu Bin, Director of Invest in Finland Greater China. “We believe there are more opportunities within the Finnish gaming industry for Chinese companies and therefore we establish the bridge between the two markets for mutual exchange and collaboration.”

Lucrative market for mobile

China is the fastest growing mobile game market in the world and a frontrunner when it comes to utilising all possible incomes from the gaming industry. Compared to Europe, where the most money is made in “traditional” ways, in-app purchases, downloads and advertising, China sees potential in, for example, entrance fees to E-sports tournaments. This creates an interesting market for the Finnish gaming industry.

When Chinese companies look towards Europe to expand their business, Finland stands out as a supplier of famous mobile games such as Clash of Clan. Thus, the cooperation between these two markets brings mutual benefits.

“Many Chinese investors think that the Finnish product is really creative, but the Finnish companies don’t know how to operate in China,” says Heng. “So, the Chinese companies can help with this by bringing the Finnish games to the Chinese market.”


"The capability and innovation of the Finnish gaming industry is very good."


Currently there are 250 active studios in Finland and even though mobile games dominate this market, the Finnish gaming industry is renowned for its flexibility. This means that the studios have the right knowledge and technology to create games for almost any platform. Furthermore, the Finnish gaming industry can compete with a high quality and a unique communal ecosystem that fuels its success.
“Since the Finnish game studios have their market outside the home country they are able to cooperate within Finland to exchange knowledge,” says KooPee Hiltunen, the Director of Neogames. “This gives a competitive advantage in markets abroad.”


The importance of networking

According to the 2016 report of Neogames’ Finnish Game Industry, this industry is Finland’s largest content-based export product. The turnover of Finnish gaming industry has grown rapidly in recent years and last year it reached 2.5 billion euros. Currently, well over billion people all over the world have played games made in Finland.

China is one of the growing markets for this export area and here the efforts of Finpro and Neogames have proven to be efficient in finding local contacts and investors. The gaming industry is dependent on these events and they are extremely valuable in gathering the supply and demand in the right place.

“Invest in Finland China team has done a remarkable job in organising them in a way that they actually provide a platform for networking,” says Hiltunen. “Our cooperation with them is a win-win situation – none of us could organise these events on our own.”


Image: Helsinki Marketing/Mikael Ahlfors Keksi Agency