2019/04/17 Pocket Gamer / Craig Chapple, Senior Editor
The number of people employed in Finland’s €2 billion-plus games industry grew 16 per cent from 2016 to 3,200 in 2018.
Industry association Neogames has released a new report delving into the state of the country’s games sector and offers up a number of key stats.
Of the 3,200 employed in the industry, as many as 27 per cent of people come from abroad. The number of foreign workers in the sector has increased by 75 per cent since the last report.
The number of women employed has grown from 406 in 2016 to 569 in 2018, making up nearly 18 per cent of the workforce.
It’s estimated that games companies will create a further 500 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.
That’s despite the number of studios decreasing from 250 in 2016 to 220 in 2018. A rise in jobs but decline in studios is likely because of the growing number of mid-sized and successful games companies in the region, not least including Supercell, Rovio, Remedy Entertainment and Small Giant Games.
There were 48 new studios established in 2017 to 2018, up from the 45 formed between 2015 to 2016.
Overall between 2015 and 2018, Neogames estimates that there have been almost 600 games companies in Finland. Of the 45 studios it included in a 2008 study, only 18 remain active.
Interestingly, in 2018 only 100 new games were published by local companies, compared to an average of 150 to 200 games per year prior. Neogames put this down to a focus on the games-as-a-service model. It said only five out of the 30 biggest games studios, as ranked by turnover, launched a new game in 2018.
Location, location, location
Helsinki remains by far the most popular hub for games companies. The ‘capital region’ holds 46 per cent of the country’s industry, up from 42 per cent in 2016. This area also generated 97 per cent of the industry’s turnover, with 75 per cent of all employees working there.
The central area meanwhile has grown from 18 per cent to 21 per cent. Key hubs outside the capital region, as signified by headcount, were Tampere, Oulu, Kajaani and Turku.
Mobile’s influence over the Finnish games industry continues to grow, with 75 per cent and 71 per cent of companies making games for Android and iOS. Interestingly, the number for Android is up from 69 per cent in 2016, while iOS is actually down from 76 per cent.
PC meanwhile has grown from 46 per cent to 50 per cent, while Nintendo Switch has boosted from four per cent to 20 per cent thanks to the console’s success.
Augmented reality saw the sharpest growth, from seven per cent to 36 per cent, and another new emerging sector chat app games grew to five per cent.
The Finnish games industry generated around €2.1 billion in revenue in 2018. That figure has been on a downward decline since it was valued at €2.5bn in 2016.
The sliding turnover coincides with a decrease in sales at Clash of Clans developer Supercell, which reported $1.6 billion in revenue in 2018, down from roughly $2bn in 2017 and $2.3bn in 2016.
Neogames notes however that the Finnish games industry is becoming less dependent on Supercell. Whereas in 2015 the developer represented an 88 per cent share of total turnover, in 2018 that fell to 65 per cent.
The number of companies now making more than €50 million has increased from two to four between 2016 and 2018, while the number of studios making more than €10m is up from seven to 11.
The number of companies making more than €1m is 34, up from 30.
Check out the full Neogames report on the state of the Finnish games industry here.