The European-Japanese Playground Publishing seeks growth by expanding to Finland. Come summer, the game company will open an office in Kotka, southeast Finland.
Playground Publishing states that its focus is exclusively on products that bring something new to game enthusiasts around the world. The company aims to release its first games in June.
— Finland is currently one of the most interesting places in the international game scene, says Maarten Noyons, CEO of Playground.
— In relation to its population, Finland produces a huge number of games, perhaps more than any other country. And the rapid growth seems to be continuing... Once we have an office in Finland we will be able to help our partners make their games go viral.
The scope of the investment will be specified according to chosen partners and level of marketing budgets tied to the games published.
According to Wilhelm Taht, Chief Operating Officer of Playground, there is practically no end to the list of promising Finnish game developers.
— While Rovio and Supercell are global phenomena, this country has a long history of developing games. Good examples include Remedy and Housemarque, which are still going strong, whereas Frogmind, Fingersoft, Mountain Sheep, Secret Exit and Ovelin of course are more recent success stories, to name just a few. I’m also looking forward to what PlayRaven and Grand Cru can offer us, Taht says.
The company’s Finnish operations will be led by Markus Råmark.
— This is a really great opportunity for the Finnish game industry, both for developers and investors, he says.
Finland’s seven aces
But what exactly is the secret of Finnish game developers? Taht feels that there are at least seven reasons:
1) Great technical knowledge
The educational infrastructure around engineering is amazing and Finns love computers and mobile phones.
2) Public funding
Public funding has traditionally been geared towards building things as opposed to promoting things. This makes a great set-up for a strong developer scene.
3) Strong demo scene
There is an abundance of talent that arises from this buzzing scene combining audio and moving images.
4) Nokia’s demise and its great Bridge programme
A great deal of strong technical knowledge is available in the market. This affects not only game development but also the tech entrepreneur scene in general.
5) Change in mentality towards entrepreneurship
It’s now OK and ‘cool’ to have your own company and be in charge of your own destiny.
6) Inflow of venture capital
Because of the games talent bred in Finland and the strong community element, Finland is one of the most interesting places to look at from a venture capital investment perspective.
7) Inspiration – success breeds success
Rovio and Supercell have been amazing global phenomena. That doesn't mean that everyone can be as successful as them, but they are an amazing source of inspiration for entrepreneurs in this industry.
Playground Publishing is a joint venture between MTI Group Ltd, a Japanese mobile content provider, and Maarten Noyons, founder and Chairman of the International Mobile Gaming Awards.
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