How Helsinki became the mobile gaming capital of the world!

dokkaebi
9
Feb 18

Helsinki may not be one of the world's most inventive technological hubs.

But, some of the world's most ambitious and successful game developers live in this peaceful northern European capital's snow-covered streets.

Helsinki is home to notable games firms including Supercell, where the original Angry Bird was flicked across an iPad, and Netflix's first internal gaming studio. Helsinki? The streamer claims it has world-class game talent.

Because of this, many consider Helsinki the capital of mobile gaming, a £120 billion industry.

How did it get this reputation?


Sarita Runeberg, Head of Gaming at infrastructure company Reaktor, says: "When you don't have to worry about failing you can be much braver"

Sonja Ängeslevä, CEO of Phantom Gamelabs, which is based in Helsinki, says this foundation is a significant reason behind the success of the games industry in the city today: "Nokia showed an example that we could build something big from here," she explains.
As a games maker, board member of the successful console developer Remedy games and the founder of a new development studio, Sonja knows the Finnish games sector inside out.

People in the city, which is roughly the same size as Glasgow, are very aware of its success in the games space, and happy to chat about it in bars and coffee shops. It's clearly been an area that politicians and officials have also sought to capitalise on.



Helsinki is the home of major games studios like Clash of Clans maker Supercell (the company's CEO Ilkka Paananen pictured)




FYI, Since 2012, Helsinki-based developer Supercell's Clash of Clans has been one of the most popular smartphone games.
After starting his career at home, McGaw moved to Finland because of its games development scene. "People here have heard so much about the games company success stories," he continues.

With studios "punching above their weight for a country this size," he believes locals are increasingly aware of developers' work and recognise the business as vital to the nation's future.

Other cities around the world won't be able to match Nokia's 1990s pedigree and competence, but there are important lessons here that indicate huge things can happen in tiny areas.

Source: BBC


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