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Home BUSINESS179 gaming firms set up in Finland in 4 years
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Thu, 19 Mar, 2015 01:46:56 AM
Game companies employ around 2,500
FTimes Report, Mar 19
Girl playing in the Super Cell in Hay Day game iPad. Girl plays Supercelll's Hay Day game on the iPad. Photo Lehtikuva
The country saw 179 new game companies from 2011 to 2014, reported M & M, a marketing and advertising magazine quoting a recent report of Neogames, tthe national gaming industry organisation.
The gaming industry, however, is heavily split between the large and the small, with only about 20 companies making more than a million in sales.
For the past few years, the gaming industry has been affected by a wave of start-ups as 69 per cent of Finnish game companies are less than five years old. Only 17 of them are 10 years old.
According to Neogames, 25 percent of the new companies, or 14 percent of the second round of investments, were founded by entrepreneurs.
There are now about 260 companies actively in operation in the Finland gaming industry. Most studios are small, with only one or just a few employees. Only 50 or so companies are members of the Finnish Game Developers’ Association.
Gaming companies see the future in a positive light, according to a Neogames survey of 110 companies. Sixty-three, or more than a half, said that they intend to hire workers in the coming year.
Game companies in Finland now employ around 2,500 people. The sector is heavily divided with a few large companies and a large number of small companies. Only seven game studios have more than 50 employees.
According to the survey, the companies have a median number of four employees.
The companies also fight for their share of revenue. About 20 percent make over one million euros in sales. The median number for the industry, according to Neogames, is only around 100,000 euros.
Angry bird game in iPad. File Photo Lehtikuva.
The oldest Finnish game company still in operation, Hoursemarque, founded in 1995, celebrates its 20th anniversary.
In 2015, the gaming industry is highly concentrated in the capital. Almost 40 percent of the companies are located in the Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa areas. Provincial influence has increased in the past few years as the 2009 report showed 64 percent of the companies concentrated in the capital city.
The gaming industry is increasingly concentrating in Turku, Tampere, Oulu, Kajaani, Joensuu, Kotka and Kouvola.
The rise in provincial gaming enterprises is partly because of the proliferation of polytechnics and the training they provide.
Across the country, there are already more than 20 game development training institutions. Many of the regional game development centres have also received EU funding for their projects, the Neogames report finds.
In addition, the digital distribution model for games has lowered the threshold for entrepreneurship.
Click here to read the M & M report.   
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