Developers & Diversity

Video introduces the diversity of the developers in the Finnish game studios, with subtitles.

Finnish Game Industry employed 3600 people in the end of 2020. Lack of professionals is the biggest obstacle for growth and companies are expecting to hire 400–1000 new game industry professionals during the next 12–18 months.

Over the course of this study, Neogames interviewed 134 game developer studios. Those studios represent 67 % of all Finnish studios (out of a total of approximately 200), and since all the major studios were interviewed, it can be safely estimated that the interviewed studios represent well over 90 % of the employment of the industry and almost all of its turnover. As some companies did not answer every question, the number of answers given to the questions presented below may vary.

The 134 companies interviewed for this study employed 3 327 people full-time at the end of 2020.

Information from other available sources confirms that at the end of 2020, the Finnish Game Industry employed, roughly estimated, 3 600 (FTE) people. This is 400 more than at the end of 2018 (3 200) and 850 more than at the end of 2016 (2 750). Like in our previous studies, these figures include entrepreneurs and approximately 250 persons employed abroad by Finnish studios.

Number of people employed by Finnish Game Industry 2004-2020

The median number of persons employed in the 134 companies interviewed is 8, and the average 25. The median number in 2018 was 7 and the average 20, so there has been a slight increase in both indicators.

During the year 2020, there were 182 interns working in 129 companies, which is only 15 internships less than in 2019. The reduction is surprisingly small, since 2020 was not too favourable for having interns due to COVID-19.

129 companies provided us with information about their recruitment needs. 107 companies (83 % of the companies answering to questions about recruitment needs) estimated that they are going to hire at least one new employee within the next 12 months. Altogether, these companies are expecting to hire 400–1000 new game industry professionals during the next 12–18 months. Due to the volatile nature of the industry, the actual demand for new employees is difficult to estimate with any precision, but these figures confirm, that Finnish game developers are still looking for growth, and the lack of employees is still a challenge to the industry.

According to the survey, the number of female employees in the 134 companies surveyed has increased from 569 to 755 from 2018 to 2020. In the 134 companies interviewed, the share of women was 22,7 %. Based on these figures, and considering the companies not interviewed for this study, it is safe to assume, that the total share of women in the industry is a little lower, approximately 22 %. The overall share of female employees is 2 percentage points more than it was in 2018 (a little over 20 % then).  In comparison to when Neogames first surveyed the share of women in the industry (2010), it was 10 %. In 10 years, the growth has been 12 percentage points.

Neogames also asked about the share of other genders in the workforce, but there were only a couple of companies that had this information or were able to share it. The amount of data was not sufficient to estimate the share of non-binary people in the Finnish Game Industry. However, a questionnaire survey made by Neogames’ member We in Games in 2020, suggests that 4,5 % of game industry employees identify as non-binary, although survey is not directly comparable to this study due to its different methodology.

The share of non-Finnish employees has also been rising. The increase from 2018 to 2020 was much smaller than from 2016 to 2018. One reason might be the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused significant difficulties for international recruitment in 2020. According to the present survey interviews (134), the total share of non-Finnish employees working in Finnish studios in Finland was 28 %, remaining almost on the same level as in 2018 (27 %).

Altogether, 449 employees, 13 % of the employees of the companies interviewed, came from outside the EU/ETA area (10 % in 2018). Despite the pandemic in 2020, the share of non-EU/ETA employees has increased in 2019–2020. This might be partly due to the fact that while COVID-19 travel restrictions allowed people with Finnish residence permit to enter the country, travel restrictions for EU/ETA nationals were occasionally stricter.

The majority of non-Finnish employees work in the mature companies (65 %) and the established companies (20 %) and in companies with more than 50 employees (78 %). However, there is a significant amount of non-Finnish employees in the small companies and in the early-stage start-ups and start-ups also. The ten biggest companies within this survey employed 68 % of the non-Finnish employees. A little more than 40 of the smallest companies did not employ non-Finnish persons.