Finnish games hugely popular on mobile phones and Facebook

Finland is now one of the leading game developer countries in the world following a string of successful game launches in 2010.

Angry Birds, the global hit mobile game developed by the Finnish company Rovio, was not the only Finnish success story in the gaming world in 2010. Between 5-7 Finnish companies sold more than a million games last year, according to KooPee Hiltunen, director of Neogames, the Finnish national centre of game business research and education.

Finland is now one of the world’s leading game developer countries in terms of digital distribution, says Hiltunen. Other successful Finnish game developers include Digital Chocolate, a Finnish-American company that is among the ten most important game publishers on Facebook, Mountain Sheep with its Minigore game, Secret Exit which published the game Zen Bound, and Grey Area Labs which developed the game Shadow Cities.

According to a study in 2008, the total turnover of the gaming companies in Finland was EUR 87 million, which Hiltunen believes has already reached EUR 100 million thanks to last year’s hit mobile games. There are currently about 65 gaming companies in Finland, with slightly more than half focusing on mobile games. Last year 15 new companies entered the sector.

According to Hiltunen, the reasons for Finland’s success in the sector are its strong gaming culture, combined with Nokia’s influence on the development of mobile games. Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, has also supported the sector with EUR 4 million per year.

Ed Barton, an analyst for ScreenDigest, is surprised that Angry Birds has been developed by a small, previously unknown company. “Breaking into the list is extremely difficult, so getting there without massive marketing and a well-known brand is impressive,” he says.

Source: Helsingin Sanomat