Finnish Game Industry employed 4,100 people in the end of 2022. Lack of professionals is the biggest obstacle for growth.
DURING THIS STUDY, Neogames conducted interviews with 134 game development studios. These studios represent approximately 58% of Finnish studios (totaling 232). As all major studios participated in the interviews, it is safe to estimate that the interviewed studios cover a clear majority of the industry's employees and nearly all of its turnover. Please note that the number of responses to individual questions may vary, as some companies did not answer every question.
The 134 companies interviewed employed 3,272 full-time and 132 part-time staff in Finland at the end of 2022. Information from other available sources confirms that, at the end of 2022, the entire Finnish Game Industry employed approximately 3,700 FTE staff in Finland. In addition to these 3,700 people working in Finland, Finnish game studios employed 400 people in Finnish owned studios abroad.
Based on these results and a comprehensive review, our estimate of the total number of people working in Finnish game studios, both in Finland and abroad, reached around 4,100 by the end of 2022 (3,600 at the end of 2020). As before, these figures also include entrepreneurs.
Futureplay \\ Merge Gardens
The median number of employees in the 134 companies interviewed was 10,
with an average of 26. In 2020, the median was 8 and the average 25, indicating a slight increase in both measures. During 2022, there were 215 interns in the studios interviewed.
The growth in the number of employees has not been as rapid as the most positive estimations (1,000 new positions in 2021-2022) in the previous study expected. In 2021, COVID-19 still slowed down employment processes, and by the end of 2022, some large studios closed (Seriously and Skunkworks), while lay-offs were occurring in others. All in all, at least 200 experienced game industry professionals were released into the labour market. Most of these individuals were employed by other studios already in 2022 or at the beginning of 2023. However, they are not visible in the number of new employees since they were previously working in the industry. Putin's war in Ukraine has created some uncertainty and, in some cases, made recruitment from abroad even more challenging than before. Cross-border remote working is, despite bureaucratic obstacles, more common than before.
However, Finnish game studios expect to open 500–1,300 new positions in the upcoming two years. Due to the volatile nature of the industry, the actual demand for new employees is hard to estimate with precision, but these figures confirm that Finnish game developers are still seeking growth, and the lack of employees remains a challenge for the industry.
One of the new questions in this study was about remote work. During the pandemic, many companies reorganised their working structures to incorporate remote working possibilities. It seems that the remote work option has been well-received by both employees and employers. Around 35% of employees continued working mainly remotely after the pandemic ended. In general, the vast majority of companies allow remote work, and it's quite likely that remote work is here to stay.
Phantom Gamelabs \\ Concept art
According to the interviews, the share of female employees in the 134 companies surveyed has remained unchanged at 22%, compared to the previous study. This figure applies only to employees working in Finland. As before, the proportion of female employees in the Finnish Game Industry is approximately the same as in other Nordic countries and the average in EU.
Neogames also inquired about the share of other genders, but only a few companies had this information and were able to share it. The amount of data was not sufficient to make an estimation of the share of non-binary gender people in the Finnish Game Industry. However, a survey conducted by Neogames member We in Games in 2022 suggests that 9% of game industry employees identify themselves as non-binary (4.5% in 2020). However, these findings are not comparable to other statistics of this study due to differences in methodology.
The share of non-Finnish employees has been increasing. At the end of 2020, the share of non-Finnish employees in Finland was 28%, but by the end of 2022, it had risen to just over 30% in interviewed studios. The increase from the previous study is 2 percentage points. This highlights the importance of international talent for the Finnish Game Industry. Around 15% of the employees of the companies interviewed came from outside the EU/EEA area (13% in 2020).