Finnish public funding for the game industry is primarily R&D-oriented, with cultural funding schemes, common in many other European countries, being almost non-existent. An exception to this is the DigiDemo funding. In terms of public R&D funding, the main source for Finnish studios is Business Finland, which has supported the Finnish Game Industry through various instruments and funding schemes since the late 90s. However, due to consolidation, increased marketing budgets, and the impact of IDFA implementation (see Strengths and Challenges), the importance of a strong brand and IP is growing. Consequently, game developers are in significant need of support on the creative side as well.
Business Finland offers funding services based on company size, maturity and financial capability. Business Finland funding is typically a grant or a loan and is available for application by any company registered in Finland. In addition to funding, Business Finland offers services for organizational development and internationalization. Talent funding is for companies that want to create new job opportunities and organizational and management practices that support international growth and improve the ability to recruit international talent. Exhibition Explorer funding helps SMEs and mid caps to participate in international B2B trade fairs abroad. Business Finland’s global network with offices in 40 countries helps in entering new markets.
Business Finland is preparing Immersive Digital Life mission, with a long-term commitment to VR/AR/XR/metaverse businesses expected to grow to become an opportunity of €8 to €13 trillion by 2030. The industry covers a wide variety of business models, verticals and technologies ranging from deep tech to content and industrial metaverse to games and entertainment.
The first step in funding offered by Business Finland is the €6,000 Innovation voucher usually followed by Tempo funding.Tempo is a €60,000 grant that covers 75%of project costs for planning international growth, to study target market, refining the product and testing it abroad.
After completing the Tempo project,game companies usually apply for Business Finland’s Research and development (R&D) funding. R&D funding is for developing a service, a product, a process or a business model, it can be a loan or even a grant in some cases. R&D funding is intended for companies to get a great boost to their profitability and competitive advantage through innovation. R&D projects start typically from €100,000 up to several million euros.
The Young Innovative Company funding is intended for growing rapidly on global scale. The funding is usually granted in 3–4 phases, with grant of €500,000 and the loan of €750,000.Read more on Business Finland’s funding services.
Finnvera is a financing company that provides funding for businesses ranging from small micro-enterprises to SMEs aiming to grow through export and internationalisation. Finnvera offers and guarantees loans for companies seeking financing in various situations. For more information: https://www.finnvera.fi/eng
DigiDemo is a funding program for product development, aimed at supporting the development of new audiovisual or other cultural content and narrative forms. DigiDemo is administered by AVEK and funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. For more information: https://www.kopiosto.fi/en/avek-frontpage/
The Finnish Cultural Foundation
The Finnish Cultural Foundation (Suomen Kulttuurirahasto), supports cultural projects, including games, with grants. Grants can be applied for artistic design or implementation of games. For more information about grants and application periods, please visit the foundation's website.
Play Ventures and Sisu Game Ventures are both investment firms founded by Finnish Game Industry veterans. Nordic Game Ventures, which invests exclusively in unlisted early-stage game development and games ecosystem SMEs in the Nordic region, also operates in Finland.
There are several game industry veterans in Finland who are willing to invest their capital, earned from exits or other business successes. Many of them are not listed publicly. However, some angel investors with game industry knowledge and interest can be found via FiBAN.
Regarding private investments in the Finnish Game Industry, see Neogames' 2022 study: “Best Practices for Young Start-ups to Rise Private Investments: A Case Study for the City of Helsinki.”